At SWISSAID, we believe that everyone is equally entitled to prosperity and to contribute to and participate in the beauty of our world. Participation means codetermination, cooperative creation and shared responsibility in regards to other people, society and the environment. Sustainable development that respects human dignity is possible only if women and men are on equal terms. Cultural diversity and respect for other beliefs and ways of doing things are an important ingredient for quality of life.
Inequality, poverty and suffering are not determined by fate. We believe that it is possible for us, as human beings, to use our abilities to bring the vision of a more peaceful and just world into being. The only things missing are insight and the willingness to make the necessary changes.
SWISSAID has three main goals:
- Aid that opens people's eyes: SWISSAID helps dismantle stereotypes of "the enemy" and dispel fear and prejudice about people from other countries and cultures. We provide information about the problems, aspirations and visions of people in the southern hemisphere. We focus particularly on their efforts to improve their life situation, and celebrate their strengths and abilities and the richness of their cultures. We help people understand why the gap between rich and poor is continuing to get wider, and that we have something to do with that - and can do something about it. We point the way forward, indicate solutions, provide encouragement and prevent resignation setting in.
- Aid that promotes justice: SWISSAID contributes to making Switzerland an open country that expresses solidarity. It is time for Switzerland, one of the world's richest countries, to recognise its responsibility to the rest of the world. Only with radical changes to the rules that currently govern economics, trade and financial relationships between countries will all have equal chances of success. SWISSAID exerts pressure and supports concrete alternatives, e.g. the Fair Trade movement. If our lifestyle is exported, it will destroy the planet. We must learn to handle natural resources intelligently and carefully, so that everyone else can use them too.
- Aid that fosters independence: SWISSAID supports as many people as possible, in a targeted, effective way, to be in charge of their own lives, trust their abilities and confidently stand up for their rights. We concentrate on countries that are often overlooked. We enable our partners to participate in the social and economic development of their countries skilfully and responsibly. For us, equal participation by women is both a goal and one of the most important prerequisites for sustainable, just development. Our support is linked to the preservation and sustainable use of natural essentials such as water, forests, soil and species diversity. We provide targeted support to partners working for human rights, conflict prevention and peaceful solutions to conflict.