Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is focused on stopping impoverishment in towns and rural areas
and on creating livelihood opportunities.
There are several ways you can help people in Ethiopia. Here you will find all donations with concrete examples.
Menschen für Menschen Switzerland stands as a partner to the people of Ethiopia. Many Ethiopians still live in unfavourable conditions. Environmental degradation, population growth, increasing urbanisation, globalisation and climate change are impacting living conditions in shorter spaces of time. Moreover, as a result of dynamic economic development in Ethiopia, urban areas – particularly rural centres and towns – are becoming increasingly important. While this development can be associated with huge problems, it also offers opportunities for the Ethiopian people. We take account of the different livelihoods and economic interdependencies in our work. Our approach is not just selective; it takes place within a holistic context. Projects factor in and bolster the entire value-chain – starting from the food-producing farmers and agricultural cooperatives via the carriers, traders and craftsmen right to the person selling the product in the cities. By integrating the different focal points and economic activities we ensure that the development has a positive and sustainable impact.
We cater for basic human needs such as access to water, sanitation facilities and good basic health care. We improve the quality of education and training for children and young people. In the towns, destitute people gain the opportunity of vocational training, increasing their chances on the job market. We enable people to secure an independent livelihood in both rural and in urban areas. Menschen für Menschen Switzerland thus remains true to its guiding principle: helping people help themselves.
In the last decades, Ethiopia has undergone some drastic changes. In a time of globalisation, the country faces new challenges. These new challenges also require a rethinking in development cooperation. Up until 2014, Menschen für Menschen Switzerland limited itself to integrated rural development. However, due to the rise in urbanisation, which has led to settlements of slums, the foundation changed its focus. Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is implementing new projects that interlink urban and rural spaces. In all the projects the goal is to overcome the most urgent problems sustainably while making the people independent from further help. Menschen für Menschen Switzerland sees itself as a partner of the Ethiopian people with an equal footing, helping to promote their own initiatives.
We plan, control and evaluate our projects ourselves. Only then can we ensure that our high requirements in transparency and efficiency are met, as we set out into a new future with the Ethiopian people.
The Menschen für Menschen Switzerland Foundation
Menschen für Menschen Switzerland was founded in 1989 by the Honorary President Rolf Knie together with Karlheinz Böhm. The foundation is headquartered in Zurich. The projects in Ethiopia are planned, implemented and controlled by the country representative and the programme coordinator in Ethiopia, in close collaboration with the head office in Zurich.
The Menschen für Menschen Switzerland Foundation has had the ZEWO seal of approval since 1999, which guarantees that donations are used responsibly. As a non-profit organisation, the Menschen für Menschen Switzerland Foundation is exempt from all taxes, including inheritance tax.
Karlheinz Böhm with Rolf Knie in 2009.
Members of the Board
Boris Blaser – President
Erwin Birchler – Member of the Board
Otto Nussbaumer – Member of the Board
Sandra Lang – Member of the Board
Nora Teuwsen – Member of the Board
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, St. Gallen – auditing office
ZEWO, Zurich – seal of approval
“There is no first, second or third world.
We all live on the same planet for which we bear collective responsibility.”
Karlheinz Böhms lifeHow it all began
Finance & Controlling
Communication / Spokesperson
Country Representative Ethiopia
Dr. Martin Grunder
Journalist / Project reporting
The guarantee to our donors
Our donors get absolute transparency at all times about how their funds are used. We guarantee this in all stages of our activities: From the use of specialised staff through the selection and control of partners to the evaluation of our work through independent bodies such as the Swiss certification body for charitable organisations ZEWO or the international auditing firm PricewhaterhouseCoopers.
At the heart of our transparency, we guarantee an established strict system of controls, which begins with the selection of projects. Menschen für Menschen Switzerland generally only supports projects for which the planning, progress and costs can be checked at any time on the basis of defined indicators. Budgets and schedules are also constantly controlled and adapted as required. In order to guarantee the efficiency of the projects and the donations used for them, we remain in constant contact with local partners. A common goal, mutual trust and transparency are the hallmarks of Menschen für Menschen Switzerland’s collaboration with its partners. Our projects are normally planned over a reasonably short timeframe, to prevent dependency and enable the population to make the transition to self-sufficiency rapidly and smoothly.
To be able to monitor our activities, we have a country representative and project coordinator based in Ethiopia. They have decades of experience in development cooperation and maintain good relations with international and local organisations as well as with the Ethiopian authorities.
Cooperation with Partners
The Foundation Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is implementing its projects in Ethiopia primarily through strategic alliances with suitable partner organisations. The cooperation is based on detailed project proposals according to international standards and the principles of the foundation; our employees in Ethiopia are in constant contact with the partners. At least every three years the cooperation is evaluated by external experts.
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