With the goal of helping under-served communities in India, Nepal, and Tibet receive the vital services they need, Karuna-Shechen was founded in 2000 by Matthieu Ricard (www.matthieuricard.org), renown TED speaker, author, and humanitarian. We strive to reduce inequalities and work toward a fairer and more compassionate world. We trust that communities can be lifted out of poverty, that change is possible, and that the well-being of every individual, regardless of race, gender, class, or caste, is essential. We believe that building on local strengths and knowledge is the most efficient way to respond to the specific needs and aspirations of our beneficiaries. Rooted in the ideal of "compassion in action", we serve others with joy and determination by cultivating altruism in our hearts and actions. We provide vulnerable and disadvantaged populations access to health care, education and vocational training, clean water, solar electricity, and other sustainable solutions that offer options to find a livelihood and a better life. We work with a grassroots network of local partners, and give special attention to the education and empowerment of girls and women. Karuna-Shechen's 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.