Ambassador Ivo Sieber

Swiss Benevolent Foundations (SBF) are scattered all over the world, be it in Latin America, in Africa or South East Asia. The branch in the Philippines was founded as far back as 1925 and has since proved its value in assisting Swiss citizens in need.

Even as the Embassy is tasked to support needy compatriots who require social welfare, its role is confined to link them up with the “Office for the Social Assistance to Swiss Living Abroad (OSASLA)”. As this office’s support is only made available in severe circumstances (it extends, for example, only to afflicted children’s attendance of a public but not private schools, or to health services provided by public but not private hospitals), the SBF is in a position to step in when the OSASLA cannot help. In such cases – and in close collaboration with the Embassy – the Foundation tries to find solutions.

Equally, if a needy Swiss seeks help from the foundation, the SBF would also contact the Embassy to clarify if it not the latter that can arrange the necessary assistance. This procedure assures that the foundation’s funds are used in a judicious and complementary way.

Elisa Marki
1 March 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

Let me thank you for all the support you have been giving my daughter and me. It does make that much difference for my daughter, even her dad Rene, is not regularly communicating with her. She still feels the love, care and attention from people who are not even related to her by blood. Even if I am divorced already with Ex-husband, I am already happy knowing many people compensate for his absence in our daughter’s growing up years.

Kimberlaine Birrer

Good Day everyone,

My name is Kimberlaine Birrer, I have two brothers namely Mark Anthony Birrer and Bernhard Martin Birrer.

I would love to share our story since we knew the Swiss Benevolent Foundation and how it affects our lives. I will start In the time that when my mom and dad passed away in the year of 1999. It was the saddest part of our lives, as the eldest in the family I know that it would be hard for us to continue everything, our schooling our daily needs and everything because, me and my two brothers are living separately from our relatives that time. One day in the year of 2004 we received a call from Swiss Embassy informing us that the Swiss Benevolent Foundation is giving us an opportunity and help in financial needs and guidance for us to have a better life and higher Education. We met Mr Hans Brumann and Mr Hans Schmid at the German club for the first time, we talk about our life and introduce ourselves. They told us how the support will work. They started helping us in everything we need, we were enrolled in a private college , they gave us a place to stay and everything we need for a daily lives. We are very thankful to the Foundation for giving us a opportunity to continue our studies, we are reporting twice a month on how we are and how is everything going on, reporting on grades we have and any school requirements to Tita Lanie Potenciano. Most of the time we are going out with Mr Hans Schmid together with their family they been very nice to us they treated us like a family we even celebrated Christmas with them I remember that tito Hans helped me with my French subject and tita cita on my Spanish subject, We went to their lovely farm in Bataan. Mr Hans Brumann had been very generous on us providing us on what we need in the house he visit us as well even our place is in traffic area.

Mr & Mrs Gloor and Mr Markus visit us as well when he had time and bring us a very good cake that he baked and we go out as well. We are very happy we are studying and we had a family the benevolent. We attend sometimes on Swiss national day.. everyday gets better when we met these kind and loving people. Until one day a terrible disaster came again into our lives the typhoon Ondoy it was very scary and life threatening experience we had in Marikina because its near to Bernhard’s school. We are trapped in our house and every place was flooded. The flood is above houses and we don’t know what to do but the government and the authorities rescued us. After the typhoon we have to start all over again, we are so bless that the benevolent has always been really helpful to us. They gave us everything and our second chance to live a normal life.

After several years we finished our school and Mr Hans Brumann taught us how to be independent and send us to Switzerland, Thank you so much from my heart for caring for us even to the last days in Philippines tito Hans and tita Maria gaves us things and clothes to bring in Switzerland they are really really kind person. Considering that we are naughtly sometimes, 🙂 We learned a lot from them.

Life in Switzerland:   At first is not so easy to cope up with the environment but we did our best and look for a job. We never imagine that we will be able to be here in Switzerland where my father was born. We are so thankful for the Swiss Benevolent Foundation and to all the people behind it for making it happen. The first time we get here in Switzerland was really rough because my brother Bernhard doesn’t have a place to stay because my uncle, the half brother of my dad had a misunderstanding and he didn’t accept my brother then he went back to Manila with the help of Mr. Hans Brumann and the benevolent. In the meanwhile I was with Mrs. Schatzmann who offered me a job and training but it was really hard for me to stay there with personal reasons so I decided to work in a different place. I met people who helped me to find a job in Kloten and luckily I was hired in a Nelson Pub in Kloten near Flughafen, as a cashier and bartender until now im still working and very happy with my job. I start saving for the future.. My two brothers were working in the same company in Zurich named MISHIO Restaurant Bernhard as a “Koch” and Mark as a “Küchenhelfer” at the moment while he is still searching for more better position. We are doing are best to survive and live in Switzerland because it’s the one of the safest place to live, and we are loving it. Still learning the language quit hard but we need to because most people here speaks German and Swiss-German ???? It is a small country but very beautiful. We are very proud to be here. 🙂 🙂 🙂

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Swiss Benevolent Foundation and all the people behind it for everything. THANK YOU SO MUCH FROM THE BUTTOM OF OUR HEART.

We are all fine here. I will send you photos of us in different places in Switzerland.

Grüsse – Kimberlaine