For the very first time, RTS is organising a major fundraiser, Cœur à Cœur, to fight poverty in Switzerland, in collaboration with Swiss Solidarity. The public is invited to catch the event in person from 17 to 23 December 2016 in Lausanne’s Place Centrale. Donations collected will go directly to people living in poverty and to projects that help marginalised youth and unaccompanied minors living in Switzerland.
Three media personalities, sealed in a glass studio for six days and nights in Lausanne’s Place Centrale: Cœur à Cœur will be broadcast from 17 to 23 December 2016 on all stations of the RTS network in partnership with Swiss Solidarity. The event will be broadcast live on Option Musique, which will carry 147 hours of uninterrupted programming, as well as on La Première, Espace 2, Couleur 3, RTS Un and RTS Deux, digital platforms and social networks. Come out and experience it in person, day or night! Buy a song to create a group playlist, organise a challenge or simply donate to the cause.
In Switzerland, 530,000 people live below the poverty line. Of those, 123,000 have paid employment. Others require social assistance or receive supplementary benefits. The risk of sliding into poverty threatens a million people. In most cases, they are single parents and people lacking post-compulsory education or training. Furthermore, 250,000 children in Switzerland currently live under the poverty line.
To date, Swiss Solidarity has helped over 100,000 people living in poverty in Switzerland thanks to the organisation’s assistance fund for people in distress. “The fund lends a helping hand to those who find themselves unable to pay an unexpected bill of up to 2,600 francs”, explains Fabienne Vermeulen, Relief Switzerland at Swiss Solidarity. The most common requests relate to medical costs and housing.
RTS’s Cœur à Cœur event will raise funds for Swiss residents for whom one-time assistance can keep them from getting caught up in a spiral of poverty. Requests can be submitted to Swiss Solidarity via social service agencies or any other structure handling their case.
Young people are particularly at risk of falling into poverty, which is why Swiss Solidarity will use a portion of the money raised to fund projects aimed at young people who have dropped out of school or their training program and would be unable to find their way again without assistance from a suitable programme. These socioprofessional integration projects should enable them to find their own place in society and build a future. Swiss Solidarity began supporting youth in 2015 with the SRF’s year-end “Every Penny Counts” (Jeder Rappen zählt) campaign, which focuses on the same needs as Cœur à Cœur. Today, 18 projects which give youth a good chance to integrate into society are being funded.
These struggling young people also include migrants. The funds will also go toward a few projects aimed specifically at unaccompanied minors in Switzerland, who currently number 2,736.