We are glad to answer your questions. Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If they are not extensive enough for your needs, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Who guarantees professional assignement and conscientious use of donations?
The Biovision Foundation is presided over by Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren. Dr. Herren has received the World Food Prize and the Alternative Nobel Prize 2013 and has worked in Africa for over 25 years. The Foundation is managed by an honorary Foundation Board, whose constitution guarantees professional know-how from many areas of development and communication work. In Switzerland, the Biovision office is headed by an experienced director. The implementation of the projects in Africa is co-ordinated by designated scientists and through co-operation with local Partners. As a Swiss non-profit organisation, Biovision is subject to foundation supervision and bound to the Statutes. Biovision's financial statement fulfills the demands of special recommendation for non-profit organisations GAAP FER 21. Sponsors of Biovision are regularly informed on the status of the projects through the Newsletter, sent 5 times per year and yearly project portraits as well as through the annual member event in spring and the symposium in autumn. The comprehensive Annual Report is available on the website and can be ordered in printed form from the head office. Biovision is certified by ZEWO. This Certificate guarantees responsible and effective handling of donated funds.
- How are the donated funds used?
80% of received funds last year were used directly in the projects. 100% of earmarked donations go directly to the projects.
All the members of the Foundation Board provide their services free of charge. There are five board members:
- Dr. Barbara Frei Haller, Pharmacist and ethno-botanist, Ardez
- Mathis Zimmermann, Lawyer, Zürich
- Prof. Dr. Ruedi Baumgartner, Co-Head of Studies of NADEL, ETH Zürich
- Paula Daeppen-Dion, UN NGO representative, Zürich
- Martin Fässler, Former Chief of Staff and member of the directorate of the SDC
Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, World Food Prize laureate, is the Foundation President. In 2013, Hans Rudolf Herren and his Biovision Foundation won the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.
- Which banks administer the capital of the organisation?
BioVision does not possess large foundation capital, rather the collected means go directly to the implementation of specific projects. Donations which are earmarked for long-term operation of projects are entered into mid- to long-term funds, always considering our ethos and high ethical standards (e.g. alternative banks). Any remaining funds are kept liquid in the short term, for the running of our projects.
- Is this foundation managed on an unsalaried basis?
Biovision was founded as a non-profit association in early summer of 1998 and was transferred to foundation status in December 2003. Building of action structures and all work for the generation of funds was acheived on an unsalaried basis by the founding members and management with support from sympathisers. With the first public action ("Good News from Africa") in November 2000 und March 2001, developed through unsalaried work, initial financial resources could be gathered which allowed for professionalisation of the work and implementation of projects in Kenya (Lake Victoria region, Suba District). The head office in Zürich has been co-ordinating Biovision's communication and project work since February 2001. The Foundation Board as the topmost executive committee continues to provide its services free of charge.
- Will my address as a donator be used responsibly by BioVision?
Your personal details are treated responsibly and used exclusively for internal purposes. BioVision manages its own database and does not pass on information to any third parties. We do not rent or sell addresses.
- Does BioVision also support scientific research?
The goal of the non-profit foundation BioVision is to make development and research findings in the field of organic pest and disease vector control accessible to people in developing countries. What has been established and tested in application by the researchers must be disseminated as quickly as possible. The problem: The methods developed by institutes such as icipe are not concrete ‚products’ which can be profitably marketed and sold. It is know-how that can be applied, and often by the easiest means. To spread this knowledge to the population at large, to instruct farmers on sustainable organic methods of control, to ensure the necessary communication with researchers - that is the task to which BioVision has applied itself. And for this, we need donations. The dissemination of these methods improves life for people in developing areas in a sustainable way.
- Do the BioVision projects make the population of Africa even more dependent on the industrial nations?
Through our projects we give the small farmers of East Africa tools to change their lives. We want to achieve the aim of higher crop yield and better health for families and livestock for farmers through the use of simple, cost-effective measures. We build upon the self-confidence and strength of the farmers to take their fate into their own hands, after the principle of ‚help for self-help’. It is our goal to improve quality and quantity of local food production. Initially in East Africa, then also in other developing regions – where the rural population is still dependent on agriculture for subsistence and as their sole source of income.
At present we carry out around 30 projects with different focus points. In addition we create awareness of the problems of the Third World in Switzerland, Germany etc., through our newsletters and public relations work. A large number of visitors to our website come from English-speaking countries.
- Are ecological aspects such as solar technology, biogas plants and organic agriculture integrated in the projects?
Our projects are based upon ecological considerations and are nature oriented, environmentally friendly application of those measures.