Approvals in June 2012

CHF 26,000 to improve women’s income through the use of non-timber forest products, Burkina Faso

The Albert Schweitzer Ecological Centre (CEAS) supports three communities of women (at least 100 women) in the villages Banfora, Toussiana and Kotoura in the use of non-timber forest products. This will, on the one hand, improve the socio-economic situation of the women and, on the other hand, contribute to the preservation of the environment with the acquisition of non-timber products. According to a study, which was conducted to the west of Burkina, the average annual income for women is less than CHF 100. The forests of Burkina Faso produce a wide variety of non-timber forest products, which play an important role in the existence of the rural population. These products are generally used by the women as well, but the low standard of quality at which they are converted and of the marketing system limits the yield of the natural resources.

CHF 37,000 for improved living conditions for people with disabilities in Padhar Madhya Pradesh, northern India

The CBM Christian Blind Mission is committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities as well as the sick and the poor. The project submitted proposes to improve the quality of life of 930 people with disabilities, who have been selected according to a baseline study in the districts of Madhya Pradesh in northern India. Their living conditions can be improved by providing them with access to health care and education. The community-based rehabilitation will put the community in a position where it can take responsibility for the needs of its members with disabilities for itself.

CHF 18,000 for medical libraries, Congo

The Centre pour la Promotion de la Santé, J.P. Heiniger is networked with many health centres around the country. All of the 400 or so nursing schools in the Congo will eventually have their own medical library with 460 books. This has already been achieved in 285 schools. Basel-Stadt will make this possible for the second time for a further ten schools. The books that have already been distributed are studied in great depth and with successful results. It is anticipated that this will improve the medical care, especially in the area of antenatal care, obstetrics and infant care, as well as in the field of tropical diseases and hospital care. Many texts and drawings in the books were prepared by the Congolese for the Congolese. The currently high death rate at childbirth (one death in every 13 births) is to be reduced with an increased focus on nurses and midwives.

CHF 40,000 to support young people, El Salvador

The Brücke- Le Pont relief organisation presented a project in which 395 young people can complete vocational courses in areas where there is a demand due to a shortage of workers. The offer is tailored to the needs of local businesses. Activities to promote peace and resolve conflict are also part of the project. Almost 20 years after the end of the civil war, El Salvador is still a politically and socially divided country. About 60 percent of working-age people are unemployed or underemployed. El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Le Pont carries out its work locally together with the organisation of FULSAMO.

CHF 8,000 for courses to train up leprosy sufferers as electricians, Vietnam

The main form of support offered by Basel-Stadt to the Leprahilfe Vietnam association (a non-profit organisation aiding victims of leprosy in Vietnam) has always focussed on vocational training projects. The project submitted proposes to train up 16 former leprosy patients and sons of leprosy sufferers who care for their parents, as electricians. The training will be conducted in the public vocational school. The inclusion of former leprosy patients is an important step both for the individuals themselves as well as part of the campaign to eradicate the disease, which is progressing very well in Vietnam.

CHF 8,500 to support the university in Balti, Moldova

Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilhelmi is actively involved at the University Alecu Russo. It won’t be the first time that Basel-Stadt assists the university in Balti in the Republic of Moldava. Thomas Wilhelmi stayed at the University Alecu Russo last autumn as a guest lecturer and has otherwise regular and in-depth contact with the university, which is actually a state institution, but does not receive nearly enough support. The university is in urgent need of books in German and French, as well as furniture and technical equipment. Thomas Wilhelmi has carefully discussed the requested items with the Rector.

CHF 7,000 for the construction of a new production facility, El Laurel, Ecuador

The Freunde und Gönner der Gemeinde El Laurel / Ecuador association (Friends and Patrons of the community of El Laurel, Ecuador) is well known to Basel-Stadt. Boys and girls can complete a three-year vocational training course with a nationally recognised diploma at the Centro de Formacion Artesanal. Electricians, welders, seamstresses and hairdressers, to name a few, are trained there. The current new challenge is the construction of a production facility for school uniforms and clothes for hospitals. A vocational teacher from El Laurel is going to be responsible for managing the seamstresses. Industrial sewing machines, scissors and worktables are urgently needed for the new production scheme.

CHF 45,000 for the Open Forum - Programme for civil society initiatives and conflict resolution, Palestine

HEKS supports eight to ten Jewish, Muslim, Christian and secular organisations in the Open Forum that have joined together within a network. The organisations are based in Israel and the occupied territories and safeguard the interests of young people, women and refugees with their work. The number of people who will benefit from this project varies according to the "Joint Actions", which are organised on an annual basis. It involves an average of around 5,000 people. The funds from Basel-Stadt are intended to support the joint project of "Raising awareness and promotion of human rights".

CHF 20,000 for psychosocial and educational support, Colombia

The Kinderdirekthilfe Kolumbien foundation (Direct aid for children, Colombia) submitted a project that Basel-Stadt already supported in 2010. The organisation, based in Basel, has been working in the poverty-stricken quarters of Medellin for 30 years. Many of today's local employees were themselves previously supported by the organisation’s social programmes. The organisation is in urgent need of money for this year's 120 beneficiaries of the project (children and adolescents) for comprehensive assistance throughout their lives and for the future continuation of the work. The association itself is predominantly reliant on volunteer work.

CHF 17,000 francs for the construction of a local television station, Micronesia

Kaselehlieh TV Production is a non-profit media production group that produces broadcasts in the local language. It aims to support people in their dignity and pride, and bring to life the local culture and history of the people living in Micronesia. Many of the programmes are aimed specifically at young people, and are then discussed in forums. The programmes are meant to counterbalance the American culture brought to the island. Basel-Stadt already supported a project on the island in 1992, which could later be taken over by the State.

CHF 55,000 for a refuge for women and children affected by violence, Bosnia-Herzegovina

IAMANEH and the partner organisation Buducnost (future) have set up a women's refuge, which offers protection to women and children who are victims of domestic violence or trafficking, and provides support in crisis management to those affected even after they have left the refuge. The shelter was supplemented in 2007 with an external service for therapy and counselling for victims of violence in a counselling centre. In addition, the organisation conducts activities to raise awareness and promote prevention of this complex problem throughout the wider population. The refuge provides up to 200 women and 300 children with a safe place to stay as well as psychosocial rehabilitation. The project is supported by private donations in addition to the SDC.

CHF 30,000 for a family strengthening programme, Ethiopia

SOS Children's Village submitted its first request for support to Basel-Stadt. Due to financial, health or other reasons, many families in Harar, a town in eastern Ethiopia, are no longer able to guarantee safe and supportive care for their children. Today in Harar, every tenth child grows up without parents. The organisation is working with 200 families (800 children), together with Community Based Organisations, to improve their situation. In order to achieve this, a development plan is drawn up with each family, it can range from adequate primary care and medical care to the temporary provision of school fees and materials, and even to furthering their parenting skills, psychosocial support and reinforcing the rights of the children. The aim is always to protect children from the loss of their family.

CHF 25,000 for the use of pick-ups to ensure the income of smallholder farmers, Kenya

Miva Switzerland, founded in 1932, focuses on the assessment and procurement of appropriate transport and communication products for daily use in the tasks of the poorest. Some means of transport have already been funded by Basel-Stadt. The submitted project proposes to support Maasai communities that have been most affected by the worst drought Kenya has experienced in 60 years. The new vehicle will "transport" help to the affected people. First and foremost, it is all about survival, which means the supply of basic foods and vitamins, but it is also intended to assist the affected herdsmen and their families in dealing with the countless dead cattle. In the longer term, it is more about offering sustainable support to smallholder farmers.

CHF 30,000 for mobile coaches to train teachers, Myanmar

The Pestalozzi Children's Foundation supports the operational partner organisation "indigenous knowledge and people network" in the project "good quality education for children", for children who live in Myanmar in the contested region along the border with Thailand. It still finds ways to maintain a functioning school system despite the exceedingly difficult external circumstances. The tensions between the central government and the ethnic minorities are still extremely high. These tensions and stresses are frequently released in military conflicts. Institutions, such as schools, play an important role in this kind of environment. The first phase of the project focuses on providing the teachers with a payment that satisfies their basic needs as a minimum and thus allows them to continue teaching (every year 25% of the local teachers leave because they cannot keep their heads above water with the wages they are paid). The project also aims at increasing the availability of education and training opportunities for the teachers who are isolated in the border zones.

CHF 20,000 for furniture in the education and counselling centre for women in the municipality of Van, Turkey

The union of the Basel-Van town twinning has turned again to Basel-Stadt with a request for a project in Van-Bostanici. The aim of the project is to enable or to make it easier for women and children to participate in public life and to provide them with a place where they can exchange ideas and offer them access to basic education programmes (literacy courses, courses on health issues such as nutrition, breastfeeding, contraceptive counselling or education). The building has already been erected on a site that is owned by the municipality. The amount requested is intended to furnish the rooms with furniture.

CHF 30,000 for a high quality education for disadvantaged children in Tahoua, Niger

Enfants du monde is supporting a project that offers the disadvantaged children in the Tahoua region, in the north of Niger, a good basic education. Children, aged 9-13 years, who have never gone to school or left too early, can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to sustainably improve their living conditions and that of their families. The project intends to network with other local organisations and the Nigerian Ministry of Education in order to improve the quality of education in Niger. Around 260 children and young people will benefit from a basic education every year (at least 50% of whom are girls). Around 650 young people will get the opportunity to go into vocational training.

CHF 50,000 for sustainable farming and rightful ownership of land, Guatemala

CARITAS Switzerland is committed to a project in Quiché, which proposes to improve the quality of life of smallholder farmers through sustainable agriculture as well as knowledge about their rights of ownership to land. Indigenous communities can lay claim to their property rights and the management of their territories. The traditional cultivation of beans and corn is often not enough for the smallholder farmers to live off of. The situation is exacerbated by their dependence on industrial products such as seed and fertilizer. This often means that the farmers hired by large landowners do not earn enough money to cover their living expenses. This consequently leads to unfarmed fields or the sale of the latter to landowners at much too low a price. About 2,150 families will benefit directly from the project.

CHF 25,000 for municipal water supply in Kacereere, Uganda

Tearfund is supporting a water project in the district of Kabale. Almost half of the people in the area covered by the project do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Those who will benefit are actively involved in the entire project cycle. It particularly concerns the provision of locally available materials, working on the construction of the water supply system and the administrative work involved in the municipal projects. A total of around 5,400 people will directly benefit from a new and improved access to water and sanitation facilities. The project is structured in such a way that the people of Kacereere are bolstered and empowered to reduce poverty through their own efforts.

CHF 100,000 for for a mine clearing unit, Mozambique

Digger DTR is a Swiss non-profit organisation based in Tavannes, whose charitable status is recognised in the Canton of Bern. Its goal is to promote technological aid projects in the field of the humanitarian clearance of mines. It has been developing and producing machines to support the clearance of landmines since 1988. Mozambique is one of Africa's poorest countries, and also the one that is most beset with mines. The government has recognised that the impact of mines currently represents a major obstacle in alleviating poverty and promoting the economic development of the country. Mozambique must solve this problem of mines before the deadline in 2014 set by the Otawa Convention. Clearance with the Digger machine is not only much more efficient, but also much less dangerous than the teams currently used, who are supported by rats.