Since 2009, IMPACT Switzerland has been a registered association (NGO) in the canton of Geneva. IMPACT’s life as an organization is, however, much older than that.
When the United Nations declared 1983-92 to be the Decade of Disabled Persons, Sir John and Lady Wilson brought their energy and focus to creating a series of autonomous national organizations that would empower vulnerable communities in the global South to prevent needless disability and therefore reduce poverty and increase life chances. Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the UNITED Nations Development Programme (UNDP) their work, and the work of many dedicated others, led to the creation of a web of autonomous local IMPACT organizations providing low-cost, often mobile, initiatives in impoverished communities. In India, IMPACT’s Lifeline Express has been bringing healthcare to the people since 1991. In Bangladesh, the Jibon Tari ‘Ship of Life’ has been providing basic surgery since 1999, while in the Philippines a programme to meet the needs of mothers and babies during the first 1000 day of life has meant thousands of healthy life stories.
While all IMPACTs raise funds in their own countries, we recognize that extra support is needed and that is where IMPACT Switzerland comes in. We raise awareness and funds in Switzerland for our local partners. Beginning in 2019 we narrowed our focus to The Lake Clinic Cambodia, a project which Switzerland, a country with where lakes have been such an important aspect of people’s lives, shares so much.
Throughout the years our mission has remained constant:
• IMPACT’s focus on preventing needless disabilities by providing preventive healthcare and health-related education to those most in need
• Strengthening local capacity and empowerment – the approach is local and not top-down
• Facilitating community-based development projects