About Suyana

This is Suyana – a Swiss foundation committed to making a difference for people affected by poverty. It all started in 2003 when our founding president, Ursula Kuhn, left Switzerland and settled in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America at that time. Her intention was clear: use her privileged position to help the less fortunate because everybody deserves a dignified, healthy and happy life. We currently implement our own holistic programme in Bolivia and Peru, provide targeted support to projects and individuals in Switzerland, and partner with other non-profit organisations to support activities in other parts of the world.

Our vision and mission

A world without poverty where everyone is empowered to live a sustainable and healthy life.

We believe that all human beings have equal and inalienable rights. Poverty violates these rights and causes discrimination and marginalisation. It is our mission to contribute to inclusive societies and empower individuals to tap their potential.

Our values

We are a politically and denominationally independent NGO founded in Switzerland. As an organisation, we live the following values:

We care

We stay

We are sustainable

We respect

We adapt

We respect:

We interact with everyone at eye level and consider ourselves as partners.

We care:

We listen carefully and support people affected by poverty on their path to an empowered future.

We adapt:

Through an open and critical mind, we remain agile and adapt to change and new insights.

We stay:

We are a responsible, reliable, and trustworthy partner. We cherish long-lasting partnerships.

We are sustainable:

Our commitment is future-oriented and holistic. We strive for sustainability in all our actions.

Our history

2003

Ideas become actions

After many work-related journeys to developing countries, Ursula Kuhn decided to start an organisation that offers real support to disadvantaged and discriminated people, empowering them to find a way out of poverty. Suyana was founded in Switzerland to carry out projects in Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America. Ursula Kuhn travelled to Bolivia to visit existing projects and analyse the situation on site.

2003

Ideas become actions

2004

Now is the time

In the neighbourhood of Barrio 25 de Julio in El Alto, she saw how children are constantly exposed to poverty and violence. Ursula Kuhn decided not to waste any time and started the first Suyana project: a kindergarten in Barrio 25 de Julio giving children a safe space and free food. Shortly after, Suyana built a school for 800 children in the same neighbourhood.

2004

Now is the time

2005

Cooperation with handicraft groups

Ursula Kuhn started cooperating with women’s handicraft groups and opened a shop selling alpaca products in La Paz.

2005

Cooperation with handicraft groups

2006

Suyana’s first 4x4 mobile

The first Suyana remodelled 4x4 vehicle went on the road to provide people in remote rural areas of the Andean highlands with urgently needed basic medical and dental care.

2006

Suyana’s first 4x4 mobile

2007

Three years to change a life

Medical and dental care are not enough to achieve real lasting change. A more complex integrated programme is required that includes families, schools and local authorities. Health, nutrition, education and healthy habits must go hand in hand. We developed a 3-year programme adapted to the context in the Bolivian highlands.

2007

Three years to change a life

2009

Back to the roots

Poverty also affects people in Switzerland. As a first project, we supported a young farming family to do urgent renovation work on their house. In addition, we supported “Göttibatze Zug”, a Pro Juventute project that gives disadvantaged children access to education, culture and sports.

2009

Back to the roots

2011

A torch whose light is passed on

Using our experience in Bolivia, we scaled up to cover remote Andean areas of Peru. Eight Suyana 4x4s vehicles were sent out to start the first 3-year programme in the Andean highlands of Peru.

2011

A torch whose light is passed on

2012

First international project cooperation

Suyana started partnering with ARCHEMED, a German association that provides medical aid for sick children in Eritrea. The aim was to build up durable medical infrastructure in order to improve the lives of children in Eritrea.

2012

First international project cooperation

2013

Refocusing Switzerland

With our new in-house farming expert, we focussed on projects submitted by Swiss individuals and organisations looking for support for their agricultural initiatives. We also entered into partnerships with the Swiss Study Foundation as well as a foundation for people with rare diseases, and we began selling handmade alpaca products from Bolivia in Switzerland.

2013

Refocusing Switzerland

2015

First project in Myanmar

We entered into a partnership with the Myanmar/Burma School Project Foundation (MBSPF) to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in rural areas of Myanmar

2015

First project in Myanmar

2021

We are growing

Learning together with partners in five different countries, we have helped thousands of people to find a way out of poverty. Our experience in the last 18 years has made us experts in sustainable development work. Now, Suyana is analysing new countries and projects where we can take our integrated support programme to those in need. Focusing on spreading the word, we are happy to present our new corporate design, including a new website and webshop.

2021

We are growing

Our teams in

Switzerland

Barbara Bodmer
Barbara Bodmer

In-house Counsel

Chiara Borner
Chiara Borner

Projects International

Séverine Boulard
Séverine Boulard

Human Ressources

Marc Fessler
Marc Fessler

Graphic Design and Social Media Specialist

Claudia Fleischhacker
Claudia Fleischhacker

Communication and Fundraising

David Fuchs
David Fuchs

Projects South America and Fundraising

Yvon Hässig
Yvon Hässig

Finance and Administration

Ursula Kuhn
Ursula Kuhn

Executive Chairwoman

Dagmar Moser
Dagmar Moser

Products

Daniel Sigrist
Daniel Sigrist

Managing Director Switzerland

Hans Waltenspül
Hans Waltenspül

Projects Switzerland

Susan Soraluz
Susan Soraluz

Shop Assistent

Bolivia

52 people currently work in Suyana Bolivia:

16 work in coordination and administration in our office in La Paz. This team is responsible for planning the activities, logistics, maintenance of the 4x4s, acquiring materials, guaranteeing financial and administrative processes, and enables our projects in remote rural communities to run smoothly.

36 people work in nine mobile teams; each team is made up of a doctor, a dentist, a nurse and an agronomist. These teams go to communities in nine municipalities and help implement the Healthy Municipality Programme.

Peru

42 people currently work in Suyana Peru:

14 work in coordination and administration in our office in Cusco. This team is responsible for planning the activities, logistics, acquiring materials, guaranteeing financial and administrative processes, and enables our projects in remote rural communities to run smoothly.

28 people work in seven mobile teams; each team is made up of two dentists, a nurse and an agronomist. These teams work directly with the communities to implement the Suyana Municipal Programme.

Work with us

Join us and help us fulfil our vision - a world without poverty! The following positions are currently open:

Open positions Switzerland

Currently no open job positions

Transparency

Suyana is a recognised, tax-exempted foundation in Switzerland, Peru and Bolivia. Our books are reviewed every year by independent auditors and our work is supervised by the local regulatory authorities. We are committed to transparent communication, and are continuously uploading new information, such as detailed annual reports with an insight into our diverse activities.

Keep up to date with our exciting activities