Helping Local communities: Access to health
The Shechen Medical Centre and Mobile Clinic in Bodhgaya, India, brings free health care to the people of the Bihar region, the poorest state of India. Out of an average of 3000 patients per month, almost 80% of the patients are women and children. Watch the doctors and patients in the video below:
The Mobile Clinic is an effective outreach program that regularly visits 18 villages located between 12 and 60 km from the medical centre and offers free health services to the region’s population of 100,000. Each village is visited twice a month by the medical mobile team (a doctor, a nurse, and a pharmacist). This is their only possibility to receive health care.
Village coordinators work in the villages to train groups of villagers to integrate safe water use, sanitation, and good hygiene practices in their lives. This training and the follow-up home visits have resulted in a significant decrease in health problems, and their impact is broadening, with villagers from 69 satellite villages also attend these programs. Wells were also installed in many villages to avert the spread of water-borne diseases. Another goal of the program is to actively working on finding other ways to provide safe water including rain water harvesting.
Helping the environment: Training illiterate grandmothers as solar engineers
In collaboration with the Barefoot College, Shining Hope Foundation and Karuna-Shechen support this programme which makes solar electricity available to the poorest populations in rural areas, and ensures that our impact on the environment is reduced.
The programme provides training to iIlliterate women from rural communities for 6 months at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India, to become solar engineers. Here they learn how to make, install, repair, maintain solar panels, and set up maintenance workshops for panels that provide five hours of electricity a day. The villagers control and manage the initiative community and the users have ownership of the equipment.
When they are back home, they are able to bring solar electricity to 300 houses in their village, making it possible for children who work in the fields during the day to study at night, thus substantially improving families’ lives, and empowering these women.
You can learn more about Bunker Roy and the Barefoot College at this link.
Helping animals: Encouraging vegetarianism
Karuna’s founder, Matthieu Ricard, is vegetarian and has just published a book in France called “Plaidoyer pour les animaux” (advocate for animals).
Every year, we kill 60 billion land animals and 1,000 billion marine animals for our consumption. A massacre unparalleled in the history of humanity which poses a major ethical challenge to our societies: the consumption increases hunger in the world, causing ecological imbalance and is bad for our health. In addition to food, we also instrumentalize animals purely for our pleasure (wildlife trafficking), for scientific research or simple entertainment (bullfights, circuses, zoos).
What if the time had come to stop seeing them as inferior but instead as our “fellow citizens” on this earth? We live in an interdependent world where the fate of every being, whatever it is, is intimately linked to that of others.
This insightful book can update everyone current knowledge about animals and how we treat them. It is an invitation to change positively our behaviors and attitudes.