Philanthropy in practice. Three examples.
Anyone looking to invest in a good cause has many options to choose from. Credit Suisse's umbrella foundations offer an extensive network of charitable institutions. Three examples illustrate the impact donations can have.
Foundations in Switzerland promote philanthropy
There is no doubt that supporting social, environmental, cultural, and scientific projects is a meaningful way to invest your assets. Credit Suisse's clients are also active in philanthropy. They use the services of Credit Suisse umbrella foundations ACCENTUS, SYMPHASIS, and EMPIRIS, which set up and manage subfoundations and funds, and also relieve the founders of central administrative tasks. The umbrella foundations also undertake the search for and review of potential social projects, which allow the founders to focus entirely on choosing from among the charitable programs. The various foundation projects thus enable global philanthropic engagement.
Here are three examples of how charitable foundations carry out humanitarian projects around the world:
rollaid provides more mobility to people with walking disabilities in Ethiopia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly one percent of the world's population relies on a wheelchair. Equipment for people with physical disabilities is an uncommon and costly commodity in the economically fragile countries of Africa, though. This is where Switzerland can pitch in. After all, second-hand items are often thrown away or stored and not used here in Switzerland – including used wheelchairs.
The SYMPHASIS Foundation's Esperanza fund provides support to the rollaid project. The association set up a wheelchair workshop in Interlaken that promotes professional and social involvement among teens and young adults. The people working in the shop repair and restore second-hand wheelchairs in order to then pass them along to people with walking disabilities in Africa. The wheelchairs from Switzerland are modified and refitted in Ethiopia. Thanks to rollaid and its partner in Ethiopia, there is now an entire center for people with disabilities, which also has a place for sports and fun. We hear wheelchair basketball is very popular right now.
More effective breast cancer diagnostics with b-rayZ
Each year, more than half a million women die of breast cancer. There is new software that promises to help detect abnormalities. Cristina Rossi, Alexander Ciritsis, and Andreas Boss are radiologists, data scientists, and physicians at University Hospital Zurich. They are using artificial intelligence to make it easier and less expensive to detect abnormalities in breast tissue.
The b-rayZ AI program receives support from the SYMPHASIS Foundation's Angel fund. The program scans mammograms and alerts you when an initial X-ray should be supplemented by an ultrasound scan and whether the image quality meets the international standards. By no means is the software meant to replace doctors, though it does provide similar benefits and can help physicians identify and diagnose cancer. This prevents patients from having unnecessary waiting times and more appointments at the hospital.
ACCENTUS Foundation fund promotes awareness of Bödmeren forest
In the far reaches of the Muota Valley, nature enthusiasts can find one of the most pristine forests in the Alps. The Bödmeren forest stretches over approximately 550 hectares in a karst landscape carved out by gullies and ravines. Many of the columnar spruce trees are 500 years old. In the dense forest, some trees have to wait in the shadows for decades until they finally grow tall enough to reach the top. One unique feature is old man's beard – a rather uncommon lichen that is rarely found outside the Bödmeren forest.
The ACCENTUS Foundation's Liselotte and Hans Schellenberg-Schwegler fund is providing exclusive support for the construction of a pavilion and a themed trail in the Bödmeren forest. The ancient forest pavilion is located in the Unter Roggenloch pasture along the road to the Pragel Pass. The exhibit there provides the ideal toolkit for a hike on the themed primeval forest trail. The trail allows visitors to discover the wonders of this habitat and thus helps nature lovers learn more about this one-of-a-kind mountain terrain and appreciate the beauty of this landscape.
Credit Suisse's umbrella foundations make all kinds of involvement possible
There is so much more that philanthropic investments offer. Credit Suisse's charitable umbrella foundations are involved in a number of fields: people, animals, the environment, science, education, health, culture, and recreational sports. The founders of the subfoundations can choose any name and cause they wish for their own foundation. Not only are the aims of the foundations highly diverse – so, too, are the opportunities investors have to make philanthropic contributions by investing in the appropriate foundation.