After 8 years of existence, and over 20 projects already supported in 12 countries, the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland is once again committing with 3 partners, in Brazil, Togo, and Myanmar in favour of the environment and economic and social development of local populations.
Created in 2012, the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland is getting involved in the field by supporting high-impact economic and social environmental projects over 2 to 3 years in favour of vulnerable local communities. Each year, it also offers Group employees in Switzerland a chance to develop their multidisciplinary skills. It proposes that they participate in Foundation activities at different levels: as an “Advisory Board member” in order to identify and evaluate projects in line with its support policy or as a "volunteer" or "project leader" to actively participate in Citizen Days, the Bank’s volunteering programme throughout Switzerland.
Acting in the best interests of our clients and the community
"By enabling controlled development of natural resources, increased environmental protection and giving people access to more decent living conditions, the 360° projects selected by our Foundation meet sustainable development criteria and echo our social commitment, one of the pillars of the Indosuez Wealth Management corporate project," notes Jean-François Deroche, CEO of Indosuez Wealth Management in Switzerland and President of the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland Board.
Three new partnerships
To renew the portfolio of projects supported, the Foundation is launching its 8th support cycle and has signed 3 new partnerships with associations, based on recommendations from employees involved in identifying and selecting them, namely:
- The Geneva-based Nordesta Reforestation & Education foundation, for its agro-forestry, beekeeping, and reforestation project intended to alleviate poverty and re-establish food security for some fifty families in the State of Alagoas, in Brazil. Since 2012, the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland has teamed up several times with Nordesta in Brazil in a project to reforest springs in the State of Piaui, and in a beekeeping programme to help indigenous families in Amazonia.
- The Geneva-based association Unis avec le Togo (UAT), for its project to build a solar-powered well to distribute drinking water to 1,000 inhabitants of the village of Pangala, in Togo.
- The association, 1001fontaines Suisse for the installation of a Water Kiosk, providing drinking water access to 4,000 people in a village in Myanmar, and for the launch of the "Water in School" program, enabling 4,000 children to have healthy water for one year.
The Nordesta Reforestation & Education foundation: agro-forestry project for 50 families
Founded in Geneva in 1985 by biologist Anita Studer, the goal of the Nordesta foundation is to protect tropical forests and improve living conditions for rural populations in Brazil. Agro-forestry, Reforestation, Entrepreneurship, and Awareness are the pillars of its activities. Since 2012, the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland has teamed up several times with Nordesta in Brazil, starting with a project to reforest springs in the State of Piaui, and in a beekeeping programme in Amazonia to help indigenous families.
This year, the Foundation has selected an agro-forestry project in the State of Alagoas. The project plans to enable 50 families to grow their own fruits and vegetables by providing material support (land, tools, seeds, and fertiliser), and by sharing techniques and know-how. In parallel, the project will help to reforest a stand of native trees, close to forest corridors necessary to genetic exchanges. This partnership makes especial sense for a population whose food security was severely tested by the pandemic in 2020.
Unis avec le Togo (UAT): Construction of a drinking water distribution well
Unis avec le Togo is an association based in Geneva founded in 1997. Recognised as a public utility by the Republic and Canton of Geneva, UAT’s goal is to promote real, sustainable development in educational, cultural, health, and agricultural terms for rural Togolese populations. Today, some 50% of the villagers in the West African country do not have access to drinking water and have not yet been made aware of the importance of drinking clean water. That lack of infrastructure is the cause of many healthcare problems for the fragile populations in the village of Pangala, who contacted UAT directly to help them deploy a support programme.
The project consists of building a solar drinking water well that will significantly improve the living conditions of the 1,000 inhabitants of the Pangala village in Western Togo. In addition to drilling the well, the goal of the project is also to raise people’s awareness of best practices for reducing the rate of water-borne illnesses.
The association 1001fontaines, founded in 2004 in the midst of a global water crisis, is an international solidarity association that aims to improve the health of isolated rural communities by enabling them to meet their own drinking water needs. Currently, nearly half of the world’s population does not have guaranteed access to healthy drinking water and is facing with a considerable health risk.
Inspired by the Louis Pasteur quote, "We drink 90% of our diseases," the co-founders pooled their skills to establish a lasting solution to drinking water access, based on social entrepreneurship. This way, rural communities in Cambodia meet their own needs for healthy, quality drinking water. The Water Kiosk created by 1001fontaines is a little drinking water production plant, compliant with WHO (World Health Organisation) standards and norms. The Water Kiosk is entrusted to one villager and two technicians, who are first trained and coached by the Académie des Entrepreneurs. By becoming a micro-entrepreneur, the villager (with their technicians) oversees the operation and development of the Water Kiosk with the villagers. This way 1001fontaines helps contribute to the economic development of underprivileged regions by creating sustainable jobs, and it also helps to improve the health of villagers, who now have healthy drinking water. The Water Kiosks are organised into national franchisee networks, which makes it possible to ensure their economic sustainability, a central element in the 1001fontaines business model.
After financing the construction of one Water Kiosk in Cambodia and helping to roll out the Water in School programme in 15 schools in 2017, the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland is helping to expand the solution to another Southeast Asian country: Myanmar. This new partnership will enable the installation of one Water Kiosk, and all related activities, construction of a building run on solar power, internal implementation of a technical installation for the collection, production, and distribution of drinking water. It will also enable the implementation of the Water in School programme in 5 towns. The number of beneficiaries is estimated at 8,000 people.
A big thank you to all the advisory board project leaders for their commitment to the Indosuez Foundation in Switzerland!
January 29, 2021