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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Karuna-Shechen USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Private Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: Matthieu Ricard, Karuna-Shechen's founder, is a bestselling Author, Altruism Influencer, Buddhist Monk and the French Interpreter to the Dalai Lama. In 2000, Ricard started Karuna-Shechen, an humanitarian organization with a focus on supporting people who live in the Himalayan region of the world. Karuna-Shechen works to provide access to vital services for people who are under resourced and economically challenged living in remote villages and tribal communities in Tibet, Nepal, and India. We build and operate medical clinics and dispensaries and offer health education, women's health care, hospice care, literacy support, and medical outreach services. Additionally, in the field of education we build schools and also support local government schools with an emphases on educating girls. We also offer adult education as well as preschool care. Our work with the environment includes conscientious and conservative development. We provide rainwater harvesting systems, train women to be solar engineers, plant kitchen gardens in Nepal and India, and provide disaster preparedness courses, as well as vocational training for women. Our comprehensive development strategy is based on active community participation, women's empowerment, and the preservation of local natural resources, expertise, and culture. Karuna-Shechen USA is based in New York City and funding raised supports the field teams in the Himalayas. Karuna-Shechen USA's Executive Director is Grace Alfiero, MFA.

Target demographics: Women empowerment, education, disaster relief, medical help, community development, solar and water solutions

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250,000 people

Geographic areas served: The Himalayas: Tibet, Nepal, and India

Programs: Vocational training for women: solar training, rickshaw driving, jewelry and candle making. Earthquake rehabilitation for villages in Nepal. Plant a kitchen garden in India to reduce malnutrition. Mobil health clinics in india and Nepal

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a former strategist for a large international corporation, I am impressed with Karuna Shechen’s ability to have such significant impact for an organization of its size. I believe this is due to the continuing clarity of its mission, the ongoing adherence to its critical guiding principles, and to the professionalism and passion of its leadership. The work of Karuna- Shechen will have profound positive effects on the lives of people it serves, both today and into the future.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a donor, friend and board member of Karuna-Shechen I admire the integrative approaches used to support many people and their communities in the Himalayan region in order to provide "compassion in action" as advocated by Matthieu Ricard. I urge you to read our annual reports online and learn about the programs that contribute to the sustained improvement in the lives of many people on a small budget. I also urge you to explore the numerous books and talks of Matthieu Ricard to enhance your understanding of his lifelong work of creating more altruism in the world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is a privilege to be involved with Karuna-Shechen. My husband and I are in awe of the humanitarian efforts started by Matthieu Ricard. Being from India, we feel a deep connection with the culturally relevant and dedicated work that this wonderful organization provides to thousands in need. Karuna-Shechen is altruism and compassion in action!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Leadership makes the difference between a great non-profit and one that is "meh." Karuna-Shechen USA has the leadership to make a tremendous difference in women's lives –– which makes a difference in everybody's lives.

1 David P.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such phenomenal work. I've been reading Matthieu's 'Altruism,' it's heartening beyond words to see his loving philosophy in action.

1 Frank D.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have personal first-hand experience with the sub-continent, both as an academic who has studied the area for what is now about 30 years, as well as someone who has traveled there in a direct way (not remotely as a “tourist package”) over an extended period of time. I am sensitive to the bounty and brilliance of these cultures, as well as the heartbreaking challenges. I am equally delighted to report I have a connection to a colleague, a professional, and a friend who is significant in this organization; so, through dialog and inspection I can vouch meaningfully on the organization’s integrity and value. As someone currently running for State Congress (in Vermont, US), my platform champions many of the same issues (albeit with a very different look and dynamic). I continue to be sensitive to issues of the environment, education, and social justice and empowerment. In solidarity from Vermont, as well as figuratively a brother of said lands, I give full throated endorsement to Karuna-Shechen USA.
-Dr. Frank Davis

1 Christy S. H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Karuna-Schechen is a splendid organization with a lovely mission. They provide well needed services to the women and children of Nepal. They approach serving the community meeting needs that are easy to assimilate into their culture. It's simple and extremely thoughtful. As a former Director of a non-profit organization, I have a great appreciation for what it takes to stay on mission. Karuna-Schechen continues to do exactly what they set out to do-make a difference in a peaceful and mindful way.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Karuna-Shechen's focus on empowering women in remote villages in the Himalayas of Nepal and India is one of the key reasons why this nonprofit deserves your support. With a variety of programs focused on providing job skills, education and basic healthcare knowledge to women of all ages, Karuna-Shechen's work gives hope to the under-served women and girls in that region. And if that isn't enough to convince you, 100% of your donations go directly to support the programs!

1 Joy T.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Karuna Shechen is an organization that is changing the lives of women across the globe. This organization is creating opportunities for women in areas of the world where women are in such great need of leadership. Karuna Shechen provides women in some of the most remote villages access to literacy, vocational training and prepares them to advocate for themselves. It is everyone's responsibility to reduce poverty, reduce child mortality and enhance education....Karuna Shechen is simply the conduit to make that happen.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I enjoy donating to Karuna Shechen because I feel that they have a compassionate and intelligent approach to helping as many people as they can. They are run very efficiently and the programs change the lives of many people. Over many years their programs have developed and become stronger and stronger. Their projects are interesting and reach out into very underserved communities. I appreciate that they provide me with an opportunity to participate by donating to their projects.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Karuna-Shechen is an outstanding organization filled with an exceptional team of professionals who really care about the communities they serve. In all my years of NGO work, I rarely see an agency that operates as efficiently as Karuna-Shechen. Hats off to all the employees, all the board members and to Matthieu Ricard, Vivian Kurz and all the original supporters and founders for building this phenomenal model of compassion! I give a recurring donation and I like to support their special campaigns.