4c development: A Swiss company and « Haïti Solidarity » (March 2010 Event)
By Thierry Dime Bolla
The terrible earthquake that has hit Haiti on January 10th this year has not left the international community indifferent. We have experienced a big movement of generosity, whether from companies, governments or private people.
After the earthquake, the President of United States, Barack Obama, promised to the the Haitian President Preval and the Haitians to support, help and assist them in the reconstruction of their country. Canadian government has for its part provided over $135 millions of humanitarian aids.
In Europe, Angela Merkel’s government has allocated 10 million to assist Haitians while « a telethon evening » live broadcast by the German television has raised more than €20 million for Haiti. France meanwhile, has allocated € 2 million in food aid for the people of the island. This money will be used firstly to support the efforts of the World Food Program (WFP) to meet the needs of affected populations and, secondly, to support a project of the NGO. « Action against Hunger » has distributed protein biscuits to more than 18 000 children under the age of five.
The Swiss population was no exception and has generously responded to the appeal by Swiss Solidarity for victims of earthquake in Haiti! In 18 hours, donations have exceeded 20 millions Swiss francs. This amount added to that already paid on the postal account Swiss Solidarity has estimated the total result of CHF 25’228’008.
Despite a still difficult economy, private companies have donated massively and among them 4c development in Geneva. 4c development is a software publisher for WEB documents management. 4c development is the creator and owner of 4c solution which is the trademark of Web software. Our team has met Mr. Pascal Oberson, founder and CE0 of 4c development.
What do you think about the solidarity of the international community?
It is amazing to see how emotionally close we can feel to people who experience such a disaster. I think that, in addition to conventional media, internet gives immediate access to all information like videos, testimonies of people living locally etc… I was moved to see individuals and solidarity groups around me that were formed spontaneously, social WEB sites ready to receive donation for the cause of Haiti almost immediately. I was also surprised by the rapidity of the international community’s reaction. Governments particularly were able to organize and manage logistics effectively and the help on the ground was very efficient and quite impressive.
We still have in mind the Tsunami disaster. Is there a risk to have once again a mismanagement of all the funds that were collected at the time for the Tsunami?
There was a big change within the last 10 years. The rapidity in which we received information 5 years ago when Tsunami happened might have surprised and overwhelmed large organizations by this ability to communicate in those early days. The very unfortunate experience of the Tsunami has helped many organizations to improve the management of these flows. Today, groups are specifically dedicated on managing funds. This seems to be a good sign.
Why has 4C development chosen a NGO such as Education Without Borders instead of a large organization such a UNICEF or the RED CROSS?
This kind of disaster generates rapidly a movement of solidarity. In the first days, we are all very emotional and ready to help and donate.
4c development would like to do more then just donate. We would like to be able to follow up on what was done with the aid given and future actions proposed by the NGO. The truth is that after a certain period of time, medias and the public loose interest and as days passes, less and less information are provided about the situation on the field. .4c development has found projects approach of Education Without Borders very focused and this feels closer to our company’s perception of helping. Targeting needs, planning, monitoring and communication are parts of their methodology and that is why 4c development feels close to Education Without Borders.
4c development is one of the main sponsor for our project « Haiti solidarity » what about this project?
« Haiti solidarity » is a project from Education Without Borders with the goal to help the earthquake victims. Currently a team is on the ground to find out about the real needs of the people. The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure a return to basic living conditions of victims in the coming months, this of course according to their possibility. This approach has attracted 4c development and made us decide to be partner in the project « Haiti, Solidarity ».
Interview done by Thierry Dime