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10 NGOs in Geneva advocating for change

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#1. Action for the Support of Deprived Children

Action for the Support of Deprived Children (ASED) is an international NGO based in Geneva that works around the work, wherever the need is the most critical. Its core mission is to ‘’improve access to education for children and teenagers of underprivileged backgrounds’’.

ASED helps children and teenagers in underserved communities to improve their lives and become part of sustainable development of their societies by providing them with access to education and quality skill training. The main goal of the organization is to give younger generations opportunities to care for themselves in some sustainable ways, and in this was contribute to better lives of their families, and development of their regions and country. Besides Switzerland, ASED has offices in India, Madagascar and Burkina Faso and it works free from any political, religious or racial bindings.

#2. Africa Humanitarian Action

African Humanitarian Action (AHA) was founded as an international humanitarian NGO in 1994 to respond to atrocities in Rwanda. Since then, it has supported over 25 million people in 20 African countries with a vision of ‘’an African continent whose local institutions can empower and sustain its peoples and communities in human security, thereby promoting peaceful development and prosperity’’.

AHA responds to crisis, disasters and conflicts and directly helps refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and returnees. It provides water and sanitation, emergency shelters, food distribution, child protection, access to healthcare and skills training to underserved communities to prepare them to deal with their concerns themselves. The organization’s global offices are in Geneva, Switzerland and the US, but it also has offices in Ethiopia, Cameroon, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda.

#3. International Peace Bureau

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is an NGO with a vision of ‘’a world without war’’. It works with 300-member organizations in 70 countries worldwide, who bring together campaigning experience and knowledge to fight for the same cause. IPB connects advocates and experts working on similar issues to build strong civil society movements.

The IPB’s present leading program is Disarmament for Sustainable Development, that mainly focuses on the reallocation of military expenditure. The organization believes that by reducing funding for military sector, significant amounts of money could be reallocated for social projects worldwide and help protection of the environment and real human needs. The IPB also campaigns on nuclear disarmament since the 1980s and supports a significant number of these campaigns around the world and provides data on the economic dimensions of conflicts and weapons.

#4. Green Cross International

Green Cross International is a Geneva-based environmental international NGO that was founded in 1993 by former Soviet Union leader Mihkhail Gorbachev, connecting the principles of environmental issues to nuclear disarmament and development. Today, the organization ‘’responds to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation to ensure a sustainable and secure future’’.

The organization implements the Value Change Program under which it promotes education for environmental sustainability, the values of the Earth Charter and organizes earth dialogues. It also works on preventing and resolving conflicts that arise from environmental degradation by focusing on the global energy and water challenges. Last, but certainly not the least, the Green Cross addresses environmental consequences of war, conflicts and man-made calamities by supporting both global and national campaigns for elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

#5. Trial International

Based in Geneva, Trial International is an NGO with a vision of ‘a world where impunity for international crimes is no longer to tolerated and the obligation to hold accountable the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, sexual violence, torture and enforced disappearances, together with the opportunity for victims to obtain justice and reparation, can deter the future commission of these crimes’’.

Trial International supports victims in their search for justice. It provides free legal assistance to the victims, develops capacities, litigates cases before the courts and pushes for the rights of victims to be respected and recognized. The organization was established in 2002 and besides Switzerland, it also has offices in Bosnia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as a local structure in Nepal.

#6. Medecins du Monde Switzerland

Medecins du Monde Switzerland was established in 1993 as a humanitarian medical NGO. It is part of the international network Doctors of the World and it provides sustainable access to health for people in vulnerable situations, both in Switzerland and around the world.

The organization partners up with the local civil society organizations and governments to implement projects on the ground and improve access to health for women and children and people who are victims of crises and conflicts. It advocates for a lasting change and calls on the international, regional and national authorities to facilitate access to healthcare and promote respect for human rights. The Medicins du Monde is focused on prevention of gender-based violence, improving of pediatric palliative car as well as promotion of importance and assistance to people regarding their mental health.

#7. Art for the World

Art for the World is an NGO that was established with a goal of bridging the gap between art and society and to place the contemporary art in services of humanitarian purposes. Its creation was inspired by the Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that ‘’everyone has the right to take part freely in the cultural life of the community, and to enjoy arts’’.

Art for the World fosters dialogue amongst different cultures, peoples and views by using art as an important tool. Its activities involve participation of artists from around the world usually through travelling art exhibitions, performances, film productions, and concerts. In this way, the organization builds the cross-cultural relationships and promotes sustainability, well-being and education. In 2005, its sister NGO, Art for the World Europa, was established in Turin, Italy, and the two organizations work following the ideal of peace, stability, human rights, freedom and dignity.

#8. Refugee Education Trust

Refugee Education Trust (RET) is a humanitarian NGO that is committed to reducing suffering and catalyzing sustainable development of vulnerable young people, especially young women. It works in emergencies, conflicts and fragile environments around the world.

RET works amongst populations that are at risk and uses development and lifesaving tools to implement efficient strategies that bridge the gaps between development aid and humanitarian relief. The organization works in crisis areas worldwide, from the Middle East and throughout Asia and Africa providing humanitarian, peace and development interventions. Its focus is also put on increasing the self-efficiency and reliance of refugees and displaced young people and their families through programs of strengthening the local capacities and fostering the socio-economic empowerment of communities.

#9. Graines de Paix / Grains of Peace

Grains of Peace is an NGO with a mission to ‘’design transformative education solutions that foster learning fulfilment, violence and radicalization prevention, and societal peace’’. It works to establish generations of students who will grow their full potential to engage for the future of the world and be highly attentive to people.

The organization’s goals are to transform education by developing children, advancing the quality of education and learning achievement by teaching them about peace culture and to foster inclusive education that is inclusive of all students. It also works on prevention of violence and radicalization by developing peace skills amongst students and teachers and reducing all forms of violence against children. Last, but not least, the NGO works on the culture of peace by developing the values of students and teachers that foster social cohesion, harmony and their capacities for mutual acceptance.

#10. Traditions for Tomorrow

Traditions for Tomorrow was established as an NGO in Geneva in 1986 to ‘’accompany initiatives of cultural assertion of dozens of peoples and minorities, amounting to hundreds of indigenous communities in Central and South America’’.

Since its establishment, the organization became involved with UNESCO and the UN to promote international norms and national policies related to cultural rights of indigenous people, safeguard of the living cultural heritage and protection of cultural diversity. Traditions for Tomorrow implements small-scale projects that are implemented in a number of rural areas in many countries and often include dance, oral traditions, music, alternative education and similar. The organization is mainly run by volunteers and its main goal is to restore the sense of confidence, dignity and self-esteem amongst indigenous peoples of South America who are marginalized because of their ethnic origin.

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