Purpose and activity
In the winter of 2014, media reports of children freezing to death in camps in Lebanon or Jordan became increasingly frequent. Only a few hours flight time away from us, there was a lack of such basic necessities that the children did not survive the cold winter. In response to this, the first members of the association began to get involved.
In our statutes the purpose of the association is described as follows:
The purpose of the association:
- The association aims to provide sustainable help for needy people worldwide. Thematically, the focus is on refugees and children. In Switzerland, the association supports the integration of asylum seekers and refugees. The association carries out public relations, media and advocacy work with the aim of dealing with problems and grievances in an objective and constructive manner. The support is denominationally and politically independent.
In practice, this objective is reflected as follows. We have defined three areas of activity in which we implement projects. These are:
- Direct humanitarian aidSince the foundation of the association we have carried out 15 aid projects in nine countries. We often cooperate with other organizations, whereby we strive to establish long-term relationships. Such relationships exist, for example, with the Jordanian Trauma Centre"Happiness Again", the German"IHA – Inter European Human Aid Association"or the Ticinese group"Associazione DaRe"As a young organisation, we use our resources very efficiently and try to constantly improve in the area of sustainability. The knitwear that we regularly collect reaches needy people through members or partner organisations. So far, we have carried out our own collections for 11 projects.
- The area of awareness-raising / education.Public lectures or panel discussions were held here for adults. We also organize our own events, so far always in cooperation with other organizations. In addition, the touring exhibition "Looking Forward" is currently being developed, which is scheduled to start in spring 2020.
For children we have developed a children's book with an accompanying workbook and a short film in which the subject of flight is treated according to age. With the project "Children help children" school classes can learn and help at the same time.
Further services are provided in media and advocacy work, where we take a constructive political stance towards the public and decision-makers. In this spirit, we support petitions, initiatives, referenda and appeals on the subject of refugees. For example, we are part of the alliance of the "Korrekturinitiative – Gegen Waffenexporte in Bürgerkriegsländer" because arms exports promote causes of flight.
- The integration of asylum seekers and refugees in Switzerland.This area was decided as a new field of activity at the AGM 2018 and is only just beginning. A major project in the Basel area is currently being developed.
The last chapter shows what we do. But how do we want to achieve our goals? What do we stand for?
A frequently used sentence from our early days is: "We help and convey emotional and physical warmth". This became a motto especially in the field of aid work. With the help of knitwear, we were often able to become a welcome partner for both the refugees and the aid organisations. In concrete terms, it looked like this, for example: When we visited the Zaatari Camp in Jordan with "Save the Children" (StC) in 2018, it became clear that we were just another organisation that was treated hospitably, but was still nothing special. Over the years, they have welcomed numerous organizations, journalists, celebrities, etc. and guided them through the huge camp. When we unpacked the toys we had brought with us in the afternoon and especially the knitted dolls and distributed them to the children, the attitude of the StC staff changed visibly. The professional relationship became more personal. The head of the Early Learning Center and the supervisor were thrilled and touched by the fact that hundreds of people in Europe had lovingly handmade dolls to bring joy to refugee children in Jordan. The knitwear not only has a material value, but also conveys solidarity; and this is extremely important for people who feel alone and forgotten by the world.
A Syrian employee of StC, who appeared very professional and a little reserved in the morning, was particularly changed by the gifts to the refugee children. His job is to accompany visitors and guide them through the camp. On the return trip, he openly declared that he greatly appreciated the gesture of the gifts. Other representatives - usually from much larger organizations - would usually come without any gifts. They want to find out about the situation in the camp, so that they can talk to their organisation afterwards about a large amount of money. This is often treated very technically and the human aspect is lost. It is precisely this gap that we can fill to a certain extent. Of course, with 80,000 people in a camp who have had to leave their homes, solutions of a technical nature are needed. But the personal, the human touch must not be completely forgotten. This is where we can make the difference, and handmade knitwear is of great value for this.
We handle the donations responsibly and make our projects as efficient and sustainable as possible.
Structure and resources
The association Together Human consists of a board of directors (currently five members). The project groups consist of a project manager and the employees. These, plus a few other people, including the persons in charge of the project, form the circle of active members. In addition, there are the passive members. These groups together form the association. Up to now, all of them have worked voluntarily and without remuneration.
Financial and material donors form the environment of the association, whereby the knitting community is to be mentioned. The financial donors are divided into private and institutional. In addition, there are the partner organisations and their members, the people who follow our communication channels (Facebook, Instagram, Newsletter), our customers (buyers of our products), some contacts with authorities, the clients, alliances and finally the general local environment and the public.
In general, we are a small organization that is very agile. This means that we can react quickly to changing circumstances. Our decision-making processes are short, which also keeps our agility at a high level.