A hundred days already! I recently realised that, since I arrived, we’ve organised and carried out a massive fundraising campaign, and it has been an immense pleasure to see the Swiss Solidarity team in action. We were very encouraged by the public’s response to the National Day of Solidarity we held for Ukraine in March, which put us at the forefront of this incredible outpouring of generosity. I am very proud to have joined an organisation that faces challenges with humility and perseverance. Being part of such a close-knit group is very rewarding. From the outset, I was inspired by the team’s remarkable energy and their conviction that Swiss Solidarity will always have an essential and unifying role to play in times of crisis.
On 25 February, we set up an internal humanitarian monitoring team and drew up a response plan for Ukraine. We knew immediately that Swiss Solidarity had to rally donors, the media and relief organisations around our #SwissSolidarityforUkraine appeal. This decision was very significant because the entire organisation jumped into action to launch a fundraising campaign in very short order. Surpassing 100 million francs in donations was unexpected and highly encouraging.
Swiss Solidarity is a fine example of solidarity in Switzerland. It remains a benchmark for quality in the humanitarian field. When I arrived, we were in a phase of renewal in terms of our structure and positioning in society, particularly among young people who are less familiar with us. The National Day of Solidarity we held in March for the people of Ukraine was a huge milestone for us in terms of visibility. I know now that taking action is how we stay in people’s hearts, by proving that our humanitarian fundraising platform is fast, efficient and geared toward an optimum impact. I was surprised to see how many donors came forward spontaneously, urging us to communicate and act. The popular pressure was very strong and positive.
«While we express our commitment in different languages depending on the region—Chaîne du Bonheur in French-speaking Switzerland, Glückskette in German-speaking Switzerland, Catena della Solidarietà in Italian-speaking Switzerland, and Swiss Solidarity for our English-speaking supporters—our organisation is focused on successfully carrying out our mission. Embodying and giving voice to this reflex of solidarity in Switzerland is a big responsibility. »
It is a great source of pride for me to see that the Swiss population, while wishing to remain discreet about its involvement, can take concrete action on a very large scale. Participating in international humanitarian aid is really one of the values we hold dear and illustrates a very powerful social connection that is made clear during our fundraising campaigns. While we express our commitment in different languages depending on the region—Chaîne du Bonheur in French-speaking Switzerland, Glückskette in German-speaking Switzerland, Catena della Solidarietà in Italian-speaking Switzerland, and Swiss Solidarity for our English-speaking supporters—our organisation is focused on successfully carrying out our mission. Embodying and giving voice to this reflex of solidarity in Switzerland is a big responsibility.
We are convinced that everyone can take action in their own way. Sometimes it’s by donating money to help deal with a crisis in a faraway country, and sometimes it’s through selfless local action—we bring together individual donors and the organisations that provide emergency assistance to affected populations.
This is a fascinating new chapter—there are many challenges ahead and we have the public’s high expectations to live up to. It is essential that we ensure complete transparency in terms of how donations are allocated and audited, while explaining the choices that guide humanitarian aid. These choices are sometimes difficult because the environment we operate in is fluid and largely uncertain. In the context of the Ukraine campaign, we need to remain attentive to the current needs of the affected populations while preparing for a long recovery. The impacts of this conflict will be felt for a long time. Together with our partner NGOs, we will adapt to changes as they come and stay at the forefront even when the headlines shift their focus to other priorities. In my role as director, I oversee the proper coordination of our departments, relations with key institutions such as SRG SSR and NGOs, and manage the financial and human sides of the foundation as effectively as possible. Above all, I would like to help Swiss Solidarity adapt to this new world and maintain the trust of donors in Switzerland over the long term.