A spirit of innovation is crucial to humanitarian aid - new director of Terre des Hommes

Barbara Hintermann, Director General of Terre des Hommes Foundation (KEYSTONE / Martial Trezzini)

Barbara Hintermann, the new director of Terre des Hommes Foundation, has edited today’s Point du jour (Daybreak) edition on Heidi.news. Just six months after having taken on the helm of the largest Swiss-based children’s aid organization, she offers her thoughts on what drives her and the organization to dedicate themselves to the protection of children around the world.

Developing humanitarian innovations. Hintermann writes that these should be at the heart of action.

“Developing the spirit of innovation is crucial in a humanitarian organisation. It is thanks to it that we can develop solutions to the challenges we face.”

She shares the latest innovative projects that the foundation has developed with its partners.

  • Gravit’eau is a hand-washing station project — an automatic recycling and filtering system that saves 1,000 liters of water per day. Developed by the organization of the same name, it aims to provide access to clean water to those who have little or no access, in order to improve basic hygiene. These washbasins have been placed in a Nigerian camp for displaced persons, increasing access to hand hygiene for at least 400 children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • IeDA (Integrated e-Diagnosis Approach) is an innovative digital project that aims to strengthen primary health care systems in rural West Africa. By digitizing WHO's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) medical protocol, the mobile application helps provide guidance for health personnel to diagnose sick children accurately. Currently, there are at least 200,000 consultations done with IeDA per month, and at least 2.8 million children have been treated since its launch in December 2014.

Sharing solutions. Part of what motivates Hintermann is the news that is able to show solutions, impacts, and success stories. In the newsletter, she also shares what inspires her, and gives her hope for a sustainable future:

“It's information about initiatives by ordinary people, about initiatives that emerge with few resources, but show that small steps are as important as big ones. Humble initiatives taken with some modesty.”


Heidi.news — Le Point du jour (08.07.2020)