About Us


Karuna-Shechen is a non-profit humanitarian organization that works with a network of local partners in the greater Himalayan region to provide education, health care, and social services to poor individuals and families who do not have access to these vital services.

Our programs respond directly to the needs and aspirations of the communities we serve, involving them in both planning and implementation. We place special emphasis on the empowerment of women and girls and on the preservation of our beneficiaries’ unique cultural heritages.

Karuna-Shechen was co-founded by Matthieu Ricard and Rabjam Rinpoche in 2000. Its name expresses its mission while paying homage to its roots: Karuna means compassion in Sanskrit and Shechen is the name of a major monastery in Tibet.

A generous donor covers our 7% operating budget. This means that 100% of your donations go straight to our projects.

Our Founder

Matthieu Ricard the co-founder of Karuna-Shechen, has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. He founded Karuna-Shechen based upon the ideal of ‘compassion in action’ in order to address the inequalities and More

See the project

Our Team

International Branches Karuna-Shechen has branches and affiliates around the world that make our projects possible by raising funds, creating awareness, and forming relationships with donors. Field Team Karuna-Shechen’s field team of dedicated professionals work within local communities More

See the project

Mission Statement

Vision Motivated by compassion (karuna) in action, we believe that no one should be denied access to basic education, social services, or health care. We believe that communities can be lifted out of poverty, that change is More

See the project


Join our community. Subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter to receive updates about our projects, interviews with members of our team, and stories from the field.

See the project


Download our factsheets to learn more about specific programs: Health Shechen Clinic and Hospice Nepal Shechen Medical Center, India Education Government School, Nepal Yalbang School, Humla, Nepal Primary School in Humla, Nepal School in a Box, Nepal More

See the project

Contact Us

Matthieu Ricard, President and Co-Founder karuna@karuna-shechen.org OUR TEAM IN THE FIELD Nepal Sanjeev Pradhan, Director of Field Operations sanjeev.pradhan@karuna-shechen.org Shalav Rana, Chief Program Officer shalav.rana@karuna-shechen.org Birendra Singh, Deputy Program Officer birendra.singh@karuna-shechen.org India Shamsul Akhtar, Director shamsul.akhtar@karuna-shechen.org OUR More

See the project