Farming is the most important sector of Bhutan’s economy. A lucrative crop are potatoes, which are grown at an altitude of 2’500 meters above sea level. Potatoes are harvested between June and August, at a time when no new potatoes are available in India. We want to support the potato market in Bhutan so that the farmers will have a sustainable livelihood and Bhutan becomes famous for the quality of its potatoes.

Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) was established in 1999 by the Bhutanese artist Dasho Choki Dorji. The school offers economically disadvantaged children from across Bhutan the possibility of studying traditional arts at master level. Thanks to outside donations CTAS could evolve over the years.

Pakka is a company based in Zurich. The company has grown into a competent partner and service provider for organic and fair-trade specialty products from developing countries.

The state of Hiamachal Pradesh in the Northwest of India, and in particular Dharmsala, is home of displaced families from the poorest areas of India. They live in slums of up to 600 people, struggling to survive with begging and waste collection. Being out-of-state citizens they have no rights and no government support.

ANH DUONG is a Vietnamese NGO in Long My in the Mekong Delta that supports the poor population with an efficient Microcredit offering and other services like agricultural techniques, training of para-veterinarians, protection of the environment and forests as well as development and creation of jobs for handicraft production. Over 1’100 families are currently using loans to build small businesses. Already 540 families have escaped poverty and are productive entrepreneurs.

In the very north of Vietnam, in a mountainous area near the border to China, is the district of Bao Lac with about 50’000 inhabitants. Ethnic tribes are living in isolated communities under very harsh conditions, with no infrastructure. Helvetas of Switzerland together with a local NGO – the Cao Bang Community Development Center (DECEN) started supporting these people.

In December 2012 we decided, together with another foundation, to finance a pedestrian bridge in Long Laman that crosses the river Salan’an. The bridge was planned and built under the patronage of Bruno Manser Fund and with the help and support of Swiss engineers of the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH). The local people were engaged in building the bridge and proudly completed it in May 2013.

newTree, a charitable non-profit organization, is supporting people in Burkina Faso to sustainably improve their livelihood. In cooperation with local families and women’s groups they fence off wasteland of about 3 ha to protect it from logging and grazing animals. newTree provides the material for the fences as well as the know-how; the local people build the fence and maintain it. So far 193 local mixed forests have thus been successfully established. They are a source of food and income for the rural population.   

Nigeria is the most densely populated country in Africa. The Najude Pioneer School is located in the state of Kaduna, in the north of Nigeria, where no paved roads, no electricity nor access to clean water are available.  

ARBOLES Y FUTURO has been engaged with the local population in the district of Cochabamba since 2006. The purpose is to provide an alternative to the meager income in agriculture through forestry. Forestry provides new sources of income while protecting the soil from erosion. ARBOLES Y FUTURO supports these activities mainly through transfer of know-how.

Since 2003 the organization DESAP (Desarrollo Sostenible para la Amazonia Peruana) has been engaged in projects in the region of Iquitos. With the project MI HUERTO (my garden) they support families with expert advice in planting a vegetable garden on wasteland. In addition, several wells have been built which provide neighborhoods with water. In 2011 the project MI HUERTO RURAL was launched, serving the families living in remote villages along the rivers of the Amazon. The biggest problem in that area is the disastrous deforestation of the rainforest. The project MI HUERTO RURAL raises awareness of the problems of deforestation and supports sustainable farming. Currently 76 families in 7 communities along the Tamshyacu River, a side river of the Amazon, are being supported.

Peter Fontana, the brother of Mario Fontana, and his wife Shay, who live in Florida, in 1999 started the Hope for Haiti Foundation. They built an orphanage at Kaliko Beach, Haiti and are developing many activities to provide a future for hundreds of children.

“Women At Work Children At School” (WAWCAS) is a collaborative project which was developed by the ANIN Group in Denmark and Slisha, a Nepali NGO.

The goal of the program is to empower and enable women to start their own business and to send their children to school regularly.

(c) 2009
Fontana Foundation