Earlier this summer, Ahimsa Forum’s hugely successful 2017 edition took place on the shores of Lake Annecy (full report available here). As we head towards the autumn, Ahimsa Fund is pleased to announce an extensive programme of events leading up to winter 2017, with several exciting meetings, conferences and trips set to take place. So, what does Ahimsa Fund (and its partners) have planned for the rest of the year? Read on to find out.


Ahimsa Fund: 7 initiatives for global health in 2017

#1 September – improving cervical cancer research

In September, Ahimsa Fund founder Jean-François de Lavison will return to India to oversee several promising initiatives. First stop: the exiled Tibetan community of Dharamsala, India (home of the Dalai Lama) to launch a cervical cancer screening project – similar to the one recently developed in Burundi – in partnership with a local medical center. Next, he’ll head to Mumbai to meet Impact India Foundation, an NGO recognized for its work in launching the ‘Hope Train’ (Remember, we’ve already talked about it…).    

#2 Throughout September – engaging Ahimsa Fund’s network of ambassadors

Just like Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto’s SEED School, which educates and trains disadvantaged youngsters from some of Manila’s poorest areas, several of Ahimsa Fund’s initiatives have the potential to be reproduced in other communities experiencing similar problems. In some cases, using existing projects as a template is a far better solution than launching new ones from scratch.

Transforming instead of creating
Ahimsa Fund’s goal is to adapt successful existing projects to the needs of specific communities, with the help of on-site ambassadors and local partners. We aim to foster an international network made up of these ambassadors, with an emphasis on hands-on experience, in order to help them share their expertise and reap the benefits of initiatives that have already been tested elsewhere.

#3 Throughout September – a second look at the 2017 Ahimsa Forum

When implementing initiatives linked to development at the global level, it’s necessary to constantly rethink, reexamine and reconsider the best ways to put those initiatives into action. As such, September will see Ahimsa Fund return to two of the most important questions raised during the last day of this year’s Ahimsa Forum. Firstly; addressing the theme of ‘Spirituality and Health’, in particular how to engage religious communities to address questions around local health policies, and how to encourage spiritual leaders to take an active role in their community’s healthcare. In partnership with the WHO, Ahimsa Fund will organise a conference in a yet to be defined place of worship to examine this delicate issue more closely. Secondly; reflecting on how the private sector can engage with public health initiatives, and particularly with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

#4 October – Maison Shalom’s training program for Burundian refugee

Ahimsa Fund partner Maggy Barankitsé, founder of Burundi’s Maison Shalom and internationally renowned humanitarian, will visit Lyon in October to meet ten young students, all of whom are refugees from Burundi. With the help of Maison Shalom and local foster families, these pupils will begin a study programme at Lyon’s Made In institute, allowing them to access higher education courses offered by the French education system.

#5 November – ongoing projects in Nepal and Bangladesh

Jean-François de Lavison will return to Asia in November 2017, visiting Bangladesh to help implement a system of cervical cancer screenings, as well as examining how best to help areas ravaged by flooding earlier this summer. He’ll then head to Nepal to continue working on existing projects, such as this program to prevent and treat severe burns, and this initiative to fight preventable blindness.

#6 January – supporting social entrepreneurship via our partners

Over in the Philippines, the aptly-named Enchanted Farm will once again (read the article in French about the 2017 summit) welcome Tony Meloto’s Gawad Kalinga annual Summit, which revolves around questions relating to social entrepreneurship. This year, Jean-François de Lavison will lead two sessions touching on themes discussed back in September (see above: ‘Spirituality and Health’ and engaging the private sector around public health initiatives).

#7 January – where practical training meets innovation

If we had to sum up this exciting project in a single sentence, the choice would be obvious: “Nothing’s impossible!” At the time of writing, students from the world-renowned Institut Paul Bocuse are sharing their expertise with aspiring young chefs from some of the Philippines’ poorest communities. What’s more, two Filipino students will arrive in Lyon in early 2018 for a three-month internship in a restaurant or hotel nominated by the Paul Bocuse Foundation.


    “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Most of us are familiar with this famous quote from John F. Kennedy – but when viewed through the lens of international development, his words seem to exhort us to take a closer look at the power of social entrepreneurship. Interested in working with Ahimsa Fund on one of our many projects? Perhaps you’d like to become a donor – or even join our list of partners? Contact us and find out more!  !