Values and vision
The NOIVA foundation is a corporate entity in its own right, independent of religion and politics. The basis for its philosophy are Switzerland’s tried and tested humanitarian and Christian values.
As a nongovernmental organization (NGO) NOIVA works towards enabling people to live a self-determined life in freedom, peace and dignity. Our country cultivates centuries-old traditions based on the ideals of tolerance and individual freedom. Minorities under threat for religious or political reasons have always found refuge in Switzerland – starting with the Huguenots, which had to flee France in the 16th century. Ethnic groups threatened by war and suppression also come to us for protection. These days the topic of migrants has become an issue more than ever.
Being one of the safest and richest countries in the world we share the responsibility for people who are less lucky. Since the foundation of the Swiss Red Cross (Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz (SRK)) and the International Red Cross Committee (Internationales Komitees des Roten Kreuzes (IKRK)) Switzerland has assumed the global leadership in emergency and development aid. SRK and IKRK are only two of many instruments perused by the government and the people to work towards reducing the suffering within the nation and abroad. NOIVA foundation wishes to strengthen and foster this rich humanitarian heritage of Switzerland.
Unfortunately humanitarian and social tasks are likely to be delegated to big organizations. NOIVA is convinced that us individuals can effectuate more than we are aware of. This is why individual concern and pragmatic willingness to help are the foundation’s signature initiatives. Furthermore interested individuals without humanitarian education are also encouraged to participate in field work. Many of the former participants have experienced a lasting imprint on their lives due to the broadening of their horizons related to this work.
We are convinced that Christian values such as readiness to help, altruism and reconciliation between nations, peoples and religious communities are crucial in overcoming today’s various profound conflicts. Wherever these values are alive and implemented, there is hope for living together in peace. This is also how we interpret the slogan «Shaping Worlds of Peace»: whatever it is we do, it should contribute to a more peaceful world.
NOIVA does not have religious goals, which means we do not advertise for religious institutions or try and win people over for a certain religion. The foundation helps people in need in an impartial and unconditional way; political and religious viewpoints, ethnicities and citizenships in particular are disregarded.
Principles and guidelines
We do what we do wholeheartedly: numbers, structures and institutions are not our priority, but people always are. We consciously incorporate flexibility into our work, close to the daily happenings. We look after both the external and the emotional hardship of the needy. We create networks, put people into contact and foster individual friendships. We create an environment where people can grow in a positive way and we encourage them to discover their potential. We make people in Switzerland and Europe aware of adversity and injustice. We rally volunteers by showing them opportunities to contribute to sustainable change. We show people in our country and abroad that we can effectuate a lot if we work together.
Cultural approach: We foster the authentic, fair and respectful collaboration with people involved in projects, people doing field work, local volunteers (e.g. interpreters), other organizations as well as the people we support. We meet everybody as equal, with respect and integrity and preserve their dignity. This also means respecting other cultures and acting in a sensitive and considerate way when on site.
Assistance: We are not looking mainly for professionals for our assignments, but for people who willingly wish to give away part of their resources – time, energy, skills, empathy – to those in need. We cherish character traits and the individual motivation more than education and experience. As the safety of all involved and orderly procedures during our assignments are our utmost priority, we reserve the right to reject applications without offering an explanation.
Finances: We are committed to handling all monetary donations responsibly and efficiently and to keeping administrative costs as low as possible: at least 80% of all means are to reach the people in need directly; at the moment the amount is 88%. No money is passed on to other organizations. Costs related to the assignments (flight tickets, cost of transportation, food and lodging, possibly insurance) are covered by the participants themselves.