Tribute to a man with a generous heart
Serge Chappatte chaired his last meeting of the Fondation Hirondelle Board in May 2014 with the same efficiency and sense of humour that he applied to everything. As fate would have it he left us suddenly soon afterwards, on his return from a visit to Moscow. His death leaves us bereft of a great friend. Serge had great sensibility, humility, generosity, and he always paid attention to others. He dedicated his life to his vision of a fairer world, at the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC), where he worked for 35 years in Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, and then in Berne as deputy director of the SDC. He also dedicated his retirement to various humanitarian activities. Serge contributed to the success of Fondation Hirondelle and the smooth running of our projects. He lent important support and was a loyal friend in both good and bad moments, always concerned about staff security and the cohesion of the group. At Fondation Hirondelle, we loved him and he loved the Fondation, whose values he said he appreciated. His smile is still with us today. Goodbye, dear Serge.
Chairwoman of the Fondation Hirondelle Board
Determination in difficult times
Civil war in the Central African Republic, tension in Mali, Ebola epidemic in West Africa: in 2014, working conditions were difficult for Fondation Hirondelle. Its partnerships with the UN missions in Juba and Kinshasa suffered as a result. But difficulty forges the strongest determination. Tunisia, to which we dedicate many of the photos in this report, is a good example: it is a laboratory where a modern type of society is being formed, influenced both by Islam and by secularism. Fondation Hirondelle has also acquired the means to carry out its mission in line with the requirements of modern, rigorous management. It now has a powerful and efficient finance and administration software that will help it to serve through information and media the poorest people hit by war and violence.
Jean-Marie Etter, CEO