© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Transforming Africa

The debut symposium by Helvetas, 'Enterprising Africa', highlights the need for good leaders, relevant education to match the needs of the evolving job market, a better focus on the technological and agricultural sectors and more. Two successful entrepreneurs voice their thoughts.    
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Subscribe to Helvetas Highlights

Follow our international e-news for development practitioners and anyone interested in our projects and approaches

“Young people need to play an active role in seeking qualitative changes”

Our Helvetas colleague François Niada, an experienced advisor in education, talks about the urgent need to improve Africa’s educational opportunities.

Selected projects

Travel around the world with our stories

Benin’s Urban Farmers

Find out how the cultivation of organic vegetables has changed the daily life of many small farmers in Benin for the better.
© Helvetas / Alexa Mekonen

Living with climate change in Bangladesh’s southern coastal belt

Story of Nasrin Begum and her family who live in one of the most vulnerable coastal districts in Bangladesh. Nasrin and her family are among many who are severely affected by water salinity.

Where and how we work

© Helvetas / Hanspeter Bundi
Helvetas helps people in some thirty different countries to actively improve their living conditions. Find out more about our work in each of these countries.

Our Working Principles and Approaches

We strive for a fairer world in which everyone can fulfill their basic needs. We support people in taking charge of improving their livelihoods sustainably.


Sustainable development only works within the right policy framework. Helvetas advocates for dialog with political decision-makers.

Fairtrade products from our partner countries


Swiss Design
with traditional Tunisian patterns
Organic cotton
feel-good fashion for men and women
CHF 34.—
with 12 images which will make you happy
Go to online shop (in German or French)

Our topics

Skills Development and Education

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen


The most vulnerable communities of the world suffer from dirty water. Every year, we support up to 500,000 people in getting access to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities.
© Helvetas / Christian Bobst

Rural Access

Lack of transport infrastructure makes it impossible for the poor to escape the poverty trap. We help people get better access to markets, schools and hospitals.

Environment and Climate Change

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve nature.

Gender and Social Equity

Helvetas makes sure that our work actively and meaningfully includes and supports the most disadvantaged groups.

About us

Helvetas is an independent Swiss development organization that is building capacity in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. We bring about real change in the lives of over three million disadvantaged people every year. We implement development projects in the areas of water and sanitation, agriculture and nutrition, education, economic development, democracy and peace, and climate and the environment. Helvetas also provides emergency response after disasters. In Switzerland we promote solidarity in spirit and in action and take part in the ongoing developmental policy dialogue. With a Fairshop of our own, we are also committed to fair trade.

Support our efforts with a donation

Such as our efforts to ensure that families have access to clean drinking water, children can go to school and young people receive vocational training.

Helvetas - a partner for true change
Truly changing lives
Change takes place where people have decided to break new ground. Teófilo Caraballo, for example. He made it possible for his family to drink clean water from their own tap.