HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

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HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Founded 1955
Type International organization
Focus Water and Infrastructure, Rural Economy, Environment and Climate Change, Skills Development and Education, and Governance and Peace
Area served
33 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia
130 in Switzerland, 1,300 internationally
Mission Helping create a fairer world in which the basic needs of all men and women are satisfied and human rights are protected.
Website www.helvetas.org

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (or Helvetas in brief) is a Swiss association for international cooperation. It was founded in 1955 as the first private organization for development co-operation in Switzerland. Helvetas is a politically independent and non-denominational association, supported by approximately 43,000 members, 40,000 sponsors and 15 regional groups.


HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is one of the most experienced and largest development organisations in Switzerland. It came into existence on 1 July 2011 with the merger of two organisations: Helvetas (founded 1955) and Intercooperation (founded 1982). As a politically and denominationally neutral association, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is supported by around 100,000 members and sponsors, as well as 12 regional groups of volunteers. The team comprises 1210 local and 67 international employees (mainly Swiss) engaged in 33 partner countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. A total of 133 men and women work at the Berne and Zurich offices as well as at the Lausanne and Balerna branch offices. They co-ordinate development projects, offer advisory services to governmental and non-governmental organisations, and raise awareness about issues faced by people in developing countries and possible solutions.

Working Areas[edit]

The objective of Helvetas is to help create a fairer world in which the basic needs of all men and women are satisfied and human rights are protected. In order to achieve this goal, Helvetas works at five levels:


Helvetas develops, supports and implements concrete actions through its projects in the field. These projects are implemented with strong local ownership and participation that guarantee their sustainability. Helvetas supports its partners to build their own capacities to deliver good development outcomes through the work that they do and also trains local authorities to fulfill their responsibilities to ensure continuity of the work.

Advisory Services[edit]

Helvetas offers a multidisciplinary team of development experts. These experts advise private, civil society, government and multilateral organisations regarding their development projects. They train specialists and foster expertise, contributing their skills and knowledge to international networks.

Information and awareness raising[edit]

Helvetas informs the Swiss public about its own work and raises awareness concerning global injustice and the necessity to stand up for the needs of the world’s poorest, either through political participation or donations.

Fair Trade[edit]

In its projects and together with the private sector partners, Helvetas promotes Fair Trade of products such as cocoa, rice and cotton. Its own FairShop sells organic and ethical goods from developing countries.

Development politics[edit]

Helvetas takes a public stance on development issues within Switzerland and internationally, through its statements, participation in global networks, petitions and as a member of Alliance Sud, the political lobbying body of the major Swiss aid agencies.


The Organization is involved in 33 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

  • Afghanistan, rural development, teachers training, vocational education;
  • Benin,improving drinking water supply and sanitation, rural road construction, building health centres, rural development;
  • Bhutan, vocational training, research in agriculture, livestock and forestry, building suspension bridges, schools;[1]
  • Burkina Faso, rural roads construction, cultivation and marketing of organic cotton;
  • Ethiopia, Natural Resources Management, Rural Infrastructure, Support to CSO and Local Government, and Skills Development and Education working Areas;
  • Guatemala, sustainable agriculture, preserving natural resources, forestry training;
  • Haiti, rural drinking water supply and sanitation, agriculture, conservation of biodiversity, education;
  • Kyrgyzstan, agricultural, vocational training;
  • Laos, agricultural extension service, promotion of organic agricultural products;
  • Mali, water supply and sanitation, agricultural development, teachers training;
  • Mozambique, rural development, community development, clear water supply and sanitation, education, ecological tourism;
  • Nepal, water resources management, sanitation, construction of pedestrian trail bridges, rural infrastructure, vocational training and small business promotion, peace-building activities; (Official Website)
  • Sri Lanka, drinking water supply, community development, agriculture, rehabilitation of families affected by war, peace promoting actions;
  • Tanzania, teachers training, environmental education;
  • Vietnam, agricultural and forestry advisory, rural development, introduction of a solar water disinfection system (SODIS), culture and education (traditional handicraft, Reflect classes)


External links[edit]