The word Karuna originates from Sanskrit, the classic language of the Indian subcontinent, and means ‘compassion’. The mission of Karuna Foundation – improving the lives of children with disabilities – starts and ends with compassion. It is compassion that makes people look after their fellow humans and it is compassion that makes people take action themselves.
Karuna Foundation was established in 2007 by the Dutch entrepreneur René aan de Stegge, director and owner of GiesbersGroep. Right after the foundation, the mission and vision were developed, an organisation was established in the Netherlands and in the first project country, Nepal, and the first innovative projects started. Betteke de Gaay Fortman was appointed as director and she is the only contracted employee. Together with social
entrepreneurs Deepak Sapkota and Yogendra Giri, Karuna Nepal was established and started working on Karuna’s mission. Karuna Nepal has grown into a strong organisation with 60 Nepalese professionals, that has become an independent local organisation with its own board in 2016. See www.karunanepal.org for more information.