Eirene Suisse is a secular non-profit organization active in development cooperation. Our motto is: “Construct peace, promote human rights.” Our objective is to contribute to the reduction of violence and violations of human rights and to promote the emergence of a more just society within which individuals and groups have the capacity to live in harmony. Eirene Suisse’s chosen method of action is the exchange of personnel cooperation (qualified personnel who are volunteers between the North and South, and vice-versa) as a means of strengthening local partners’ expertise.
Eirene Suisse is the result of the 2010 merger of Eirene Suisse and the Groupe Volontaires Outre-Mer (GVOM), similar organizations founded in 1963, each with extensive experience in the exchange of personnel cooperation.
Eirene Suisse is an organization as defined by Article 60 onwards in Swiss civil code. The organization is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (in cantonal districts, raising awareness of activities,and a source of members, donors, and Southern volunteers) with a window into German-speaking Switzerland. With its headquarters in Geneva, it is composed of around 500 contributing and donating members, and around 1500 supporters.
A world governed by a culture of living together and respect for human rights, giving everyone the ability to live a life of dignity, equality, and solidarity in a safe environment.
Eirene Suisse strengthens and promotes locally developed actions in support of the promotion of peace and human rights, through exchange and mutual learning. By putting the exchange of personnel in development cooperation at the heart of its partnerships, Eirene Suisse supports its partners’ local actions in developing their own strategies based on their field expertise. Eirene Suisse concentrates its efforts on the reinforcement of civil societies working in fragile or unstable circumstances (“Fragile States”1).
Eirene Suisse believes in dialogue, exchange, reciprocity, and human encounters to improve understanding between human beings and to surpass isolation, prejudice, hate, and fear. Tied to this basic value is the establishment of balanced partnerships with Southern organizations and the choice to work within the framework of exchange of personnel in development cooperation.
Eirene Suisse promotes citizen engagement and solidarity, both in Switzerland and in the field. Mobilization of “volunteers” within the framework of exchange of personnel in development cooperation stems from this basic value: it is about qualified professionals who choose a unified commitment for which the motivation is neither payment nor social status. Citizen commitment to the South is an essential component of our local partners’ mobilization.
Eirene Suisse values the participation of stakeholders concerned with the creation, realization, and evaluation of actions, both in Switzerland and in the field. We promote the sustainability of these actions by turning to collective intelligence, reassessment, and individual responsibility. Autonomy is a priority in all projects.
Eirene Suisse works to ensure the respect of each human being and works against injustices and inequalities on the basis of gender, degradation of the environment, and poverty, all of which are structural causes of violence.
Eirene Suisse is an organization independent of political, denominational, or economic affiliation.
Our Methods of Action
Eirene Suisse specializes in the exchange of personnel in development cooperation. This is a form of complementary cooperation in support of conventional financial support, which opts for human interaction and mutual learning as the primary driving force of change and development. Since its creation, Eirene Suisse has sent more than 300 qualified long-term volunteers from Switzerland to support the development of local structures by providing their skills. Other modalities of cooperation are implemented by Eirene Suisse: South-North exchanges (awareness in Switzerland), South-South exchanges (networking), short-term assignments, civil service, internships for young Swiss professionals, exchange and training workgroups, as well as support to local personnel.
This array of tools offers more flexibility in supporting local partners according to their needs.
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Kristin Leigh Proofreading: Sahoy Cameron-