The Ameropa Foundation – Helping the Underprivileged
The Ameropa Foundation was founded in December 2001 by Andreas Zivy and Nicole Miescher as a part of the Ameropa group (a Swiss agri-business, producing and marketing fertilizers and grains). Based in Binningen, Switzerland, the Ameropa Foundation helps to support humanitarian, entrepreneurial and educational projects in the developing world, by implementing local employees and partners in developing countries and managing projects directly. The Foundation endorses long standing commitments to its projects in developing countries, rejecting the idea that great change can be made in a short period of time (without sustained, long-term strategy).
As of the end of 2014, the Ameropa Foundation created more than 5,300 jobs, provided education and professional training to 19,000 people, and helped to house elderly and needy families. The Ameropa Foundation’s core principles are to improve the quality of life in impoverished areas and help to minimize marginalization in areas where these problems are stunting social progress and equality.
The Ameropa Foundation aims to work with local communities and organizations to promote and foster the development of progressive projects based on local customs and ethical values. This helps to avoid interfering with the established norms and values of a culture, and ensures that projects will be well received by the local community, providing a foundation upon which progress can be made. The Ameropa Foundation targets key areas such as education, housing, enterprise, sports, culture and recreation, in order to provide a better environment that can help to promote social and economic progress in the developing world.
The Ameropa Foundation helps to promote enterprise by investing in local businesses, and providing working capital for small and medium-sized companies, helping to provide vital start-up funds for many businesses in the developing world. The Ameropa Foundation also assists in setting up the means of production, such as small factories, offering technical assistance continuously (at no charge). Support is given to projects that have a viable business plan and will help to create jobs for the local population. Any profit accumulated by the business is used to reinvest in social programs, thus creating a progressive chain of social progress, providing jobs and resources for those at risk in the developing world.
The heart of the Ameropa Foundation’s work is in promoting education; the benefits of literacy and numeracy have been proved empirically over and over again to contribute substantially to the development of more prosperous and egalitarian societies. The Ameropa Foundation supports education in hygiene, nutrition and health, helping to improve the quality and longevity of life in developing areas. Education also helps for a demographic to participate in economic exchange, which can help to promote prosperity, create political and economic stability, and lay the groundwork for a more democratic and cohesive society.
As part of the Ameropa Foundation’s educational development programs, they build and support kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and vocational schools, helping to provide essential training for adolescents and adults. This equips the local population with the skills required to form and sustain a healthy and enabled community.
The Ameropa Foundation also supports the development of sports and culture to help develop integration, improve health and wellbeing and support stability within developing countries. The benefits of sports and activities are well known, helping to reduce crime and improve community cohesion. In Mãe Luiza in Northeastern Brazil, the Ameropa Foundation has helped to create a center for sports and culture.
They also provide housing and financial support for the elderly, the marginalized and those uprooted from their cultural roots. This helps to offer a support network for those in the most impoverished areas, and those most at risk of death, disease and famine. The Ameropa Foundation has helped thousands of people to live in health, happiness and dignity.
More information about the Foundation can be found here.
Guest Author: Pratik Gaikwad