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Swiss National Day of Solidarity with the Philippines
held across  Switzerland


The Swiss National Day of Solidarity with the Philippines was held on 18th November across Switzerland.

The telethon, which aimed to help raise donations for the victims of typhoon Haiyan, was organized by Swiss Solidarity, a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief and rehabilitation projects, in cooperation with Swiss public radio and TV. 


Photos (L-R): Swiss President Ueli Maurer takes calls from donors phoning at the SRF Studio in Berne; Ambassador Baja joins President Maurer at the opening of the telethon in Berne

The event, which lasted from 6 o’clock in the morning until 12 o’clock midnight, gathered pledges of donations worth CHF 9, 025,989, bringing the running total of donations funnelled through Swiss Solidarity to more than CHF 16 million or PHP 763,446,720.00. 


Swiss volunteers in Berne receive calls at the SRF Studio


In Berne, the telethon was held at the Swiss TV and Radio station SRF. The opening was attended by Swiss Confederation President Ueli Maurer, Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Leslie Baja, Mr Walter Rüegg, President of Swiss Public Broadcasting Organization, and Swiss Solidarity Managing Director Tony Burgener.

President Maurer himself took three calls from donors and gave interviews to the Swiss media on the assistance extended by Switzerland to the victims of typhoon Haiyan. Ambassador Baja likewise expressed this gratitude to the Swiss people for their assistance in the interviews he had that day.


 Photos (L-R): Volunteers in the Geneva telethon take calls from donors in the French-speaking region; volunteers in Zürich receive calls from donors in German-speaking part of Switzerland

The event showed that the traditional bayanihan spirit is also very much alive in Switzerland, not just among the members of the Filipino community who also organized fund-raising activities for the typhoon victims, but also among the Swiss who worked hand-in-hand with Filipinos across the country in making the event a success. Filipinos also actively took part in the telethon by taking calls themselves or providing food for the volunteers.
 

Photos (L-R): Filipinos in Berne work hand-in-hand with the Swiss by providing food to the volunteers and by taking part in the telethon

According to Mr. Burgener, more than 850 volunteers across Switzerland enlisted for the telethon. Of these, more than 100 were deployed at a given time to receive calls from the five telethon centres across the country. END 

 
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