The goal of the ESPERANZA Foundation is to alleviate poverty in developing countries. It has found a partner in Swisscontact that shares this objective. Rolf Buser, President of the ESPERANZA Foundation, on collaborating with Swisscontact.
What are the ESPERANZA Foundation’s objectives and how can Swisscontact help achieve them?
Rolf Buser: Our donor foundation basically aims to fight poverty in developing countries as effectively and efficiently as possible with project financing. We regard gainful employment and rising incomes as among the most important foundations of sustainable improvements in quality of life for disadvantaged people. Swisscontact’s projects focus convincingly on achieving these goals.
Collaboration between the ESPERANZA Foundation and Swisscontact has continued already for many years. Why have you supported our foundation for nearly ten years?
We purposely develop long-term partnerships. We value transparency, trust, continuity, the ability to learn, and sustainable measurable impact in project results. We strive toward mutually reliable partnerships. Our partnership with Swisscontact exhibits all these qualities. In addition, we value personal and human contact with decision-makers at the Head Office and in our periodic project visits with people in the field. The commitment and professionality of the mostly local Swisscontact staff in the field never cease to amaze us. Last but not least, the quality of reporting and financial management at Swisscontact is laudable.
Since 2010 you have supported Swisscontact’s Inclusive Finance Programme in East Africa. From your perspective, how has the project developed over this long period?
The project objective has remained constant over the years: farmers and MSMEs can create new income-generating activities with access to savings and credit opportunities as well as improved financial management skills, buffering themselves from income fluctuations. This has been achieved through the creation of mini-savings groups (Mavuno) and savings and credit cooperatives, as well as training microfinance experts. Tens of thousands of people, mostly women, received support in their efforts to become financially independent in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and since 2016 in Rwanda. Over the years, the project increasingly has focused on training in microfinance and invested in training institutions. The project also supports the development of new financial services and advises other Swisscontact projects, and this magnifies the overall impact.
What project does not yet exist that in your opinion Swisscontact must implement?
With its 60 years of experience, Swisscontact doesn’t need any specific advice from a donor foundation. However, I do think that in the future the field of “environmentally friendly business and production” will continue gaining importance. Fostering sustainable resource management not only creates jobs in developing countries, but it is also a basic precondition for health in the population, especially in cities. Projects working on clean air, waste and recycling, as Swisscontact is already doing in numerous countries, still need time to show results. Resource efficiency could or should be a cross-cutting theme in all projects.
Swisscontact extends its heartfelt thanks to all donations and project contributions in 2018 (Donations of CHF 500.- or more).
Abnox AG, Advantis Versicherungsberatung AG, Alobis AG, Bank am Bellevue AG, BDO AG, Bjorg & Compagnie, KfW Bankengruppe, Max Ditting AG, Otto Mathys AG, Prowald & Partner GmbH, Roland Schwab Holding AG, Scherler AG, Schweizerische Nationalbank, Seedamm Plaza, WSP W. Schefer + Partner, zCapital AG, Zürcher Kantonalbank
COFRA Foundation, Fondation Tibetania, Gebauer Stiftung, Irène und Max Gsell Stiftung, JTI Foundation, Stiftung Corymbo, Stiftung Drittes Millennium, Stiftung für praktische Berufsbildung, Trafigura Foundation, Uniscientia Stiftung, Valüna Stiftung, Von Duhn Stiftung, Werner und Helga Degen Stiftung
Kanton Glarus, Kanton Graubünden, Kanton Luzern, Kanton Schwyz, Gemeinde Bottmingen, Gemeinde Herrliberg, Gemeinde Maur, Gemeinde Saanen, Gemeinde Uitikon-Waldegg, Gemeinde Riehen, Stadt Chur, Stadt Rapperswil-Jona, Stadt Zug
Reformierte Kirchgemeinde Küsnacht, Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Uitikon-Waldegg, Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Wallisellen
Andre Paul, Chambésy; Arnold Robin, Walchwil; Baer Stephan, Küssnacht am Rigi; Bally Claus, Conches; Beerli Andrea, Zumikon; Besomi Andrea, Carona; Bösiger Markus, Heimberg; Brändli Hannes, Meilen; Brändli Heiner, Zürich; Bruderer Martin, Evilard; David Lucas, Fällanden; de Senarclens Marina, Zürich; Fahrni Friedrich, Zollikon; Finocchio Susan, Atherton; Furrer Marc, Bolligen; Gafner Alfred, Kloten; Geissbühler Markus, Stansstad; Familie Grimm, Würenlingen; Grüschow Peter, Solothurn; Familie Hanselmann, Richterswil; Familie Henchoz, Zollikon; Hentsch Jean-Claude, Corsier GE; Hoffstetter Stephan, Koulikoro (Mali); Irniger Dominik, Niederrohrdorf; Jenny Robert, Weesen; Johnson Eric, Gattikon; Keller Gottlieb, Zug; Keller Nicole, Bern; Koch Anton, Oberrieden; Meier Bruno, Jona; Familie Merz, Männedorf; Familie Ming, Zumikon; Möller Matthias, Schaffhausen; Muheim Markus, Bern; Familie Müller, Männedorf; Paganoni Robert, Zollikon; Quaderer Sascha, Planken; Raheja Satish, Genf; Ringli Kornel, Zürich; Familie Schiltknecht, Zürich; Stahel Walter, Biel; Familie Stockar, Bern; Theiler Georges, Luzern; Familie von Planta, Cham; Wheatley Susanna, Zürich; Widmer Urs, Schaffhausen; Wiederkehr Thomas, Maur; Familie Wyler, Wallisellen; Zemp Roman, Rengg
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@ swisscontact.org