EXTRAORDINARY TIMES CALL
Andan inspires and leads private sector initiatives to support humanitarian agencies and governments in developing sustainable solutions for refugees.
The Andan Foundation is a Swiss non-profit, public-benefit foundation devoted to supporting those displaced by war and conflicts. Our mission is to identify and develop innovative and sustainable solutions that promote refugees’ self-reliance, boost their resilience, and foster their inclusion in their new countries. We prioritize projects that expand economic, financial, and political opportunities for both refugee populations and the communities that welcome them.
We believe that the private sector’s entrepreneurial ingenuity, coupled with humanitarian expertise, can dramatically contribute to the improvement of refugees’ lives. For this reason, we facilitate and propel partnership between the private sector and UN agencies, NGOs, and academic institutions concerned with the refugee cause.
Wars and persistent civil conflict have now forced an unprecedented 68.5 million people to flee their homes, causing one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.
Of these, 25.5 million people have crossed the borders of their countries looking for international protection, and are designated as ‘refugees’. They remain in exile for an average of 17 years, according to current figures.
The great majority of the 25.5 million people forced to flee their homeland have found asylum in nearby countries, among compassionate but usually poor communities with few resources of their own.
Local laws and policies in these hosting countries often prevent refugees from working or moving freely, condemning them to an undignified state of dependence on international charitable aid. This results in a harrowing period of long-term stasis in which survival is barely guaranteed, while the wealth of talent, passion, and drive that refugees could contribute remains unproductive both for themselves and their hosting communities.
“A new model is now being tested, with positive results - based on equity, on justice and on humanitarian values and standards. Countries and communities need more systematic, long-term support as they take on the job of helping uprooted families. Refugees themselves need to be included in new communities, and given the chance to realise their potential.”
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
We foster self-reliance among displaced populations through economic and financial inclusion, education and vocational training, employment, and entrepreneurship.
Our grant-making strategy supports a range of field projects and interventions, with a focus on refugee livelihoods, education, skills training, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. We also support academic research into new models and solutions and assist with the development and implementation of scalable pilot projects for refugee integration.
We are keen explorers of the application of new technologies to humanitarian relief, and passionate advocates of digital inclusion for refugees. All funded projects must achieve a demonstrable and measurable impact on refugee families in protracted displacement. Equal opportunities and women’s economic empowerment are preferential criteria in the selection of our interventions.
Andan will achieve its goals by working in partnership with UN agencies, NGOs, and academic institutions concerned with the refugee cause.
Over time, we seek to foster long-term, transformational solutions for refugees, including shifts in public policy. To this end, Andan participates in public debate and supports initiatives that raise awareness, lobby government, and change attitudes towards refugees.
The quest for durable solutions to the refugee issue must involve a gradual shift away from the current aid-based system towards an environment that allows refugees in long-term displacement to uplift themselves.
Andan contributes to this fundamental, systematic change, working from a perspective that recognizes the economic potential of refugees, as well as the willingness and the determination of these populations to rebuild their lives and integrate with their local communities.
Wherever appropriate, our projects also promote the concurrent development of hosting communities, to ensure that the benefits of refugee economic and financial integration are inclusive, far-reaching, and sustainable.
Our guiding principle is to promote refugees’ potential and support them in becoming part of their new communities.
Eventually, we aim to help refugees to return home educated and able to participate in the rebuilding of their own countries, or else to be empowered to conduct a meaningful life wherever else they might decide to settle.
We support refugees through opportunities to work and rebuild a dignified life as active members of their new communities.
MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances solutions to address the world’s most pressing issues, and Andan Foundation support a prize to use innovation to advance economic, financial, and political inclusion of refugees in their hosting communities. Learn more.
The Andan model, including elements of both a think-tank and a donor community, allows us to offer both financial and non-financial resources to projects and initiatives in which we recognize groundbreaking potential.
Andan funds projects from its own resources, but also actively works as a fundraising platform for a selected portfolio of innovative ideas and effective interventions. We work with our donors’ skills, talents, and resources, channeling these assets towards projects that match their own philanthropic journey most effectively.
The Promise of Blockchain and Safe Identity Storage for Refugee
‘Identity’ is a complex and not fully-defined concept that nonetheless today plays a central role in the debate within social and political sciences. It is often associated with the unique and permanent set of characteristics that defines an individual, determines a ‘sense of self’, and inspires pride.
The refugee cause cannot be ignored. It is the most important global challenge today, and the most pressing call-to-arms for those wishing to achieve a genuine impact.