Jabal Bedro is a neighbourhood in Aleppo where Caritas Syria (a partner of Caritas Switzerland) is implementing various projects. The population is very poor and the neighbourhood has been badly damaged by the war.

Review by the President and the Director

Monika Maire-Hefti and Peter Lack look back on an eventful 2023.

Last year, one crisis followed another: in February, an earthquake in Syria killed more than 6'000 people, and the war in Ukraine broke out at almost the same time.

Last year, one unexpected crisis was quickly followed by another: in February, an earthquake in Syria claimed more than 6’000 lives, while almost at the same time the Ukraine war marked its first anniversary. In April, a conflict in Sudan escalated, which led to almost half a million people fleeing to our project countries Chad and South Sudan. And, finally, Hamas fighters attacked Israel in October, whereupon a state of war was declared and a humanitarian crisis took its course in Gaza. These events dominated the headlines. However, many other humanitarian crises are taking place far from the public eye – they are the forgotten crises. Added to this is the climate crisis, which is hitting the global South ever harder.

Caritas Switzerland stands by those affected in around 20 countries worldwide every day, be it in newly ignited conflict situations, in natural disasters or as a partner in protracted crises. In 2023, Caritas supported 194’652 people worldwide in Projects, that count as humanitarian aid, 352’213 with long-term development cooperation work and 77’978 with projects that combine short-term and long-term support. This is how aid has a sustainable impact – which is a strategic principle of Caritas Switzerland. In Switzerland, the daily cost of living rose once again, this time with a historic jolt.

We are committed to working for a fair and responsible Switzerland that enables all people to have a good life, both in Switzerland and abroad. That demands a strong vision, the necessary know-how, good cooperation with partner organisations as well as the support of private individuals, companies and public authorities. Being able to count on this network gives us great satisfaction and motivation for our work.

We look forward to further developing this Caritas spirit with you and to carrying it forward together into the future.

Monika Maire-Hefti, Präsidentin

Monika Maire-Hefti, President

Peter Lack, Director

Peter Lack, Director

2023 in figures

194652

people

were supported with projects that count as humanitarian aid

(2023)

352213

people

were supported worldwide with development aid

(2023)

77978

people

worldwide were supported in projects that combine short and long-term aid

(2023)

© Hasan Belal

Boards

Meet the Caritas Switzerland 2023 Steering Committee and Board.

Steering Committee

Steering Board 203

Monika Maire-Hefti, Präsidentin

Monika Maire-Hefti, President

Robert Moser, Vice-president

Robert Moser, Vice-president

Jean-Noël Maillard

Jean-Noël Maillard

Gülcan Akkaya

Gülcan Akkaya

Mario Slongo

Mario Slongo

Gisèle Girgis-Musy

Gisèle Girgis-Musy

Martin Wey

Martin Wey

  • President: Monika Maire-Hefti, registered nurse, former member of the Neuchâtel Cantonal Council, Les Ponts-de-Martel, Canton Neuchâtel
  • Vice-President: Robert Moser, Deacon, Steg, Canton Valais
  • Jean-Noël Maillard, Directeur Caritas Jura, Delémont
  • Gülcan Akkaya, Dr. polit., lecturer and project leader at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences – Social Work, Lucerne
  • Mario Slongo, Dr. Dr. hc. chemist/meteorologist, Tafers, Canton Fribourg
  • Gisèle Girgis-Musy, lic. oec., Leutwil, Canton Aargau
  • Martin Wey, Dr. iur. utr./lawyer and notary, Deputy Secretary-General, Swiss Conference of Bishops, Fribourg

Additional Steering Committee Members

  • Michaela Zurfluh, lic. theol. I, pastoral carer for parishioners, Kriens pastoral region, Ebikon, Canton Lucerne
  • Jean-Claude Huot, lic. ès. lettres, Cossonay, Canton Vaud
  • Marco Fantoni, Vice-Director Caritas Ticino, Pregassona (Lugano)
  • Bruno Gut-Fuchs, Deacon, church leader parish St. Verena, Stäfa, Canton Zurich
  • P. Alois Kurmann, lic. theol., former Vice-rector Monastery Einsiedeln, Canton Schwyz († 29.09.2023)
  • Alexandre Antonin, lic. sciences politiques, MBA, Directeur Caritas Valais, Sion, Canton Valais
  • Fabienne Notter, Director Caritas Aargau and Caritas Solothurn, Solothurn
  • Silja Wenk, Co-Director Caritas Bern, Bern
  • Roland Loos, Dipl. Electronics Engineer ETH Lausanne, Yverdon-les-Bains, Canton Vaud
  • Iris Utz-Huwiler, President and manager of Accordeos Foundation, Meggen, Canton Lucerne
  • Sabrina Corvini-Mohn, President Caritas both Basel cantons, Allschwil, Canton Basel-Land
  • Dr. Benno Schnüriger, former President Synodical Council Roman-Cath. Body of Canton Zurich
  • Dr. Hans-Jörg Ruppen, Dipl. Mathematician ETH, Dr. ès sciences and Titular as well as Honorary Professor EPFL Lausanne, Gampel, Canton Valais
  • Markus Schmid, former human resources manager and organisation consultant, Lucerne

Head Office Caritas Switzerland

Executive Board 2023

Peter Lack, Director

Peter Lack, Director

Dr. Franziska Koller

Dr. Franziska Koller

Andreas Lustenberger

Andreas Lustenberger

Françoise Vogel

Françoise Vogel

Elisabeth Karagiannis

Elisabeth Karagiannis

Chantal Cornaz

Chantal Cornaz

Hans Krummenacher

Hans Krummenacher

Mireille Grädel

Mireille Grädel

  • Director: Peter Lack, lic. theol., dipl. NPO-Manager VMI
  • International Cooperation: Dr. Franziska Koller (until 31 October 2023) Martina Weber, Dipl. Social Worker MBA, MPH (on an interim basis from 1 November 2023) Research and Policy: Andreas Lustenberger, Master in Sciences (Geography), member of the Cantonal Council, Baar, Canton Zug
  • Projects Switzerland: Françoise Vogel, lic. phil. (until 31 May 2023) // Paola Gallo, secondary school teacher, Master in Business Administration for NGOs (on an interim basis from 1 May 2023 to 31 October 2023) // Mireille Grädel, lic. phil. hist. (from 1 November 2023)
  • Communication and Marketing: Elisabeth Karagiannis, lic. phil.
  • Human Resources: Chantal Cornaz, lic. phil.
  • Finance and Administration, Deputy Director: Hans Krummenacher-Wüest, Business Economist, cert. Public Accountant

Business Audit Committee

  • President: Alois Bissig, Notary and Lawyer, Ennetbürgen, Canton Nidwalden
  • Markus Köferli, dipl. theol., Head of special spiritual welfare Synodical Council Zurich, Zurich (until May 2023)
  • Kurt Grüter, former Director Federal Audit Office, Bern Susana Garcia, former Director General AVASAD, Lausanne
  • Monika Otter, MAS Ethics FHNW, Freienbach, Canton Schwyz

Statutory Auditors

  • BDO AG, Lucerne

About Caritas Switzerland

At the end of 2023, Caritas Switzerland had 615 direct, permanent employees, corresponding to 487.99 full-time equivalent posts. 396 persons are women (64.4%). 60% of all employees work part- time. The average age is 41.5 years. Around 37% of employees are based in French-speaking Switzerland. In addition, around 277 staff work on hourly pay, for example as interpreters or at Caritas Care. 322 locally employed staff work for Caritas Switzerland in the project countries.

Sustainability strategy in 2023

Sustainability is the basis for all projects and the way in which Caritas acts. Caritas Switzerland therefore has a sustainability strategy and is committed to it at the ecological, economic and social level. It regularly carries out a CO2 assessment in all locations in Switzerland and abroad in order to measure the impact of its activities on the climate. Caritas intends to further reduce its emissions with the aid of a reduction pathway. In addition, it has an internal climate fund. In 2023, the resources from this fund were invested in selected Caritas projects with a special focus on sustainability. Caritas Switzerland thus contributes to sustainable development both in Switzerland and worldwide – in line with the sustainable development goals of the UN Agenda 2030.

© Hasan Belal

Partners

To carry out our work successfully, we need good cooperation with partner organisations as well as the support of private individuals, companies and the authorities. The fact that we can count on this network is a great source of satisfaction for us and a motivation for our work.

Strong Partnerships From business, politics and society

These are the partners that make our work on behalf of disadvantaged people possible. Our warmest thanks!

«In 2023, I was part of the panel for the youngCaritas Awards as well as a leader in the summer camp. I was able to widen my horizons, gather valuable experience and contribute my ideas. Meeting new people and cultures is an enrichment made possible by youngCaritas.»Laura MeileVoluntary commitment to youngCaritas
André Krause, CEO Sunrise
«Together with Caritas, we enable people on a tight budget to participate in digital life. We foster digital skills to facilitate integration into society and create opportunities in the world of work.»André KrauseCEO Sunrise
«Together with Caritas, we are committed to supporting people who live at subsistence level. Thanks to the KulturLegi, education, sport and culture are accessible to all, and the reduced prices for fruit and vegetables at the Caritas Markets enables people experiencing poverty to have a healthy diet.»Michaela GasserSocial and environmental sections of the Ernst Göhner Foundation
Help where it is most needed
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© Lefteris Partsalis

Header image: Jabal Bedro is a neighbourhood in Aleppo where Caritas Syria (a partner of Caritas Switzerland) is implementing various projects. The population is very poor and the neighbourhood has been badly damaged by the war. © Hasan Belal