HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is one of the most experienced and largest development organisations in Switzerland. It came into existence on 1 July 2011 through the merger of two organisations: Helvetas (founded in 1955) and Intercooperation (founded in 1982).
At a glance
As a politically and denominationally neutral association, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is supported by around 100,000 members and sponsors, as well as 12 regional groups of volunteers. Our team comprises about 1,200 local and 60 international employees (mainly Swiss) engaged in 32 partner countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. A total of 140 men and women work at the Berne and Zurich head offices and at the Lausanne and Balerna branch offices. They coordinate development projects, offer advisory services to government and non-government organisations, and raise awareness about issues facing people in developing countries and the possible solutions.
Development work in four continents
The main focus of our work is on international projects. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is committed to improving the living conditions of disadvantaged people in rural parts of Africa, Asia, South and Central America and Eastern Europe. The projects focus on the specific areas of Water and Infrastructure (water and sanitation, water for food, bridges and roads), Rural Economy (food, organic farming and Fairtrade), Environment and Climate Change (soils, forests, water and energy), Skills Development and Education (basic literacy and vocational training) and Governance and Peace (human rights and culture).
Giving the South a voice
Successful development not only requires activities in the South but also change in the North. For this, Helvetas draws on its broad support base in every language area of Switzerland. Helvetas uses its information and awareness-raising work, along with its FairShop, to inform the Swiss public about people’s living conditions and concerns in developing countries, and to persuade them to support development cooperation endeavours as well as to influence development policy in Switzerland.