Fabian Molina, what does SWISSAID mean to you?
SWISSAID is an impressive organisation. The old slogan – their courageous relief organisation – still hits the nail on the head for me. For decades, SWISSAID has managed to initiate sustainable development in difficult contexts and at the same time to be the voice of the poorest people in Switzerland. It is an enormous achievement to consistently follow this path.
SWISSAID’s history is strongly influenced by agricultural projects. What links you to agriculture?
I grew up in a farming village. I therefore became aware of the importance of agriculture at an early stage. Later, I also became familiar with the international dimension of farming life through many journeys and through my work at SWISSAID. Farmers produce our food. We cannot live without them. This will remain so in future. In view of the hunger and poverty in the world, it is therefore of central importance to promote good agricultural development.
Have you ever been to the regions of the world where we are active? What were the most formative encounters and experiences?
Three years ago I visited Colombia. The violent conflict and the drug problem were still very present. Since then I have exchanged views with many Colombians and we have also organised an event for SWISSAID Zurich on approaches to solving the cocaine trade. I am very impressed by the courage of the people who work for peace and justice on the ground.
What else can SWISSAID do better in Switzerland?
In view of the changes in society, we must be even better at explaining our work and mobilising people for it. In the past, the Third World Movement has been able to initiate important changes in Switzerland. We have to go there again.
What arguments would you use to persuade a young person to engage in development issues and work against poverty and hunger?
Poverty and hunger, and also the climate crisis, have a lot to do with global inequality and with our economic system. Action in Switzerland has an impact on people on the other side of the globe. This is what is driving the younger generation, as is currently evident from the climate strikes. We must show that development issues are very closely linked to issues of gender equality, social inequality and climate justice.