How we work
The Leopold Bachmann Foundation was set up as a grant-making foundation by Leopold Bachmann in 1997. In addition to financial support, our partners benefit from the global network of partner organisations that is already in place. We actively foster networking among our partners. We also maintain open and transparent dialogue with our partners. We encourage shared learning, and we are happy to assist with our knowledge and experience.
We engage with our partners on a regular basis. Submission of a comprehensive annual report, including a financial overview, is a requirement. Our partners inform us proactively about any delays, major deviations, or changes in the course of the project.
We value a strong and sustainable organisational structure. We support our partners with their organisational development and with building up their capacities by providing financial resources, or by connecting them to advisors.
We enter into partnerships with organisations that advance the Foundation's mission and the goals within our focus areas. We firmly believe that multi-year partnerships provide the ideal basis for bringing about lasting change. It is therefore our usual practice to support our partners and their projects for periods of between three and five years.
It is our view that diversified financing contributes to the independence, resilience and sustainability of an organisation and its projects. This is why it is our general rule not to finance more than 60% of the total budget, and we expect projects to be financed from the partner's own resources and from third-party resources in addition to our contribution.
Collaboration with other foundations
We welcome collaboration with other foundations in the form of co-financing arrangements as well as exchanges of learning and experience. We are convinced that active exchange among grant-making foundations strengthens and inspires our work; for this reason, LBF is also a member of Swiss Foundations.
Our focus areas
Our vision is, that every human should be given the opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop their skills – so they can take their own initiatives to build a life based on self-determination and make a valuable contribution to their environment and their community.
However, this opportunity is still denied to many people throughout the world because of growing inequality. We regard growing inequality as one of the critical problems of our times.
Inequality is a complex and multifaceted issue. As a Foundation, we have identified four drivers of inequality that we aim to address in our work:
In the focus area Education, LBF is committed to the following goals:
- Youth and young adults acquire relevant knowledge and skills that create added value for their communities and contribute to resource-conserving development.
- Youth and young adults from marginalised communities gain access to high-quality education at the secondary and tertiary levels.
- Access to the labour market is made possible thanks to vocational training and entrepreneurial initiatives. There is also proactive exchange among stakeholders within business, education, and politics, which progressively improves access to the labour market.
- Independent and self-determined learning is promoted along with the social development of individuals and their communities.
Engaged and Diverse Communities
In the focus area Engaged and Diverse Communities LBF is committed to the following goals:
- Diverse and inclusive communities are preserved or fostered, discourse among different population groups takes place, and marginalised groups are an active part of society.
- Civil society groups are strengthened and interconnected so that they can participate effectively and actively in decision-making processes, and can stand up for their rights.
- Young people's leadership qualities are developed so they can take on an active and self-confident role in helping to shape their community and environment.
- Women and girls are strengthened. They contribute to the health and productivity of their families as well as their communities, thus generating a multiplier effect.
- Local governments gain the knowledge they need to provide public services efficiently and enable participation by citizens.
In the focus area Inclusive Market LBF is committed to the following goals:
- Overall conditions for sustainable and inclusive market access are created through networking, technology, capital and knowledge transfer.
- Local small businesses or cooperatives with a sustainable character are established or strengthened. They contribute added value and economic prospects to the rural region.
- By connecting to the value chain, income is diversified and increased, and independence is promoted.
The LBF is currently focusing in particular on the sector of agricultural products.
In the focus area Regenerative Agriculture LBF is committed to the following goals:
- Communities acquire knowledge about regenerative agricultural practices adapted to local conditions. They become empowered to implement them.
- Regenerative agriculture is being practiced and propagated whenever possible, leading to improved soil fertility and water management.
- Climate-adapted land management enables smallholder farmers to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency, and promotes food security.
- Smallholder farmers conserve local and traditional resources such as seeds, they are independent, and they contribute actively to food sovereignty.
LBF collaborates with a global network of partner organisations. The following selection gives you an insight into our work in the focus area Education.
Jugend Eine Welt - Skilling the World
Vocational training - embedded in the teaching of values and personal assistance - gives young people the skills they need to lead a self-determined life. Jugend Eine Welt strengthens Don Bosco vocational training centers in cooperation with its partner organization VIA Don Bosco. Particular attention is paid to organizational development and sustainability as well as the empowerment of women. Networking of the vocational training centers with each other and with the labor market is being systematically promoted. The training spectrum ranges from confectionery to wood and metal processing and electrical/solar technology including environmental education at all levels.
WWF – Barefoot College
No development without light: Adult women from rural regions are being trained as solar technicians. Most of the women are illiterate. They learn about the technology with practical visuals and can choose from a broad empowerment program. The women are mothers or already grandmothers and therefore well rooted in their home villages. They return to their regions after their training and install, maintain, and repair solar panels.
LBF collaborates with a global network of partner organisations. The following selection gives you an insight into our work in the focus area Engaged and Diverse Communities.
SERES – Jugend Leadership
Guatemala und El Salvador
SERES cultivates youth leaders to build more just and sustainable communities in Guatemala and El Salvador, by building a network of support and development for local leaders to have the skills to create actions and projects that respond to their most immediate needs, exercising civic participation and create partnerships that lead to positive changes to transform their communities investing in improving community resilience.
Helvetas - Moving Governance
How can indigenous women in Guatemala have a say? Or a village in Ethiopia or Nepal get water supply? The Moving Governance program, co-developed by LBF, promotes collaboration between civil society and local government in nine countries to improve public services for disadvantaged populations. Central to this program is South-South exchange between projects so that they can learn directly from each other what approaches work in other contexts and jointly develop new ideas.
IAMANEH Switzerland – Programme Agreement
Westafrica und Western Balkans
To achieve greater gender equality, it is crucial to empower women to represent their interests self-responsible. We strive for empowerment processes on a personal and societal level. Access to education and paid work are important aspects of this. Empowerment is also needed for men, as well as approaches that promote gender-transformation.
The Leopold Bachmann Foundation accompanies IAMANEH on this path within the framework of a transnational program support.
Choba Choba – Choba Choba - A social enterprise of cocoa farmers from Peru
Choba Choba has been the first Swiss chocolate brand co-owned by smallholder cocoa farmers, who take part in the company decision making and success. The Choba Choba Foundation, LBS partner, is part of this social enterprise: a Peruvian cooperative, a Swiss company, and a Swiss foundation. Their mission is to create a world in which smallholder cocoa farmers are self-confident professional entrepreneurs, live a prosperous life in harmony with the environment and set an example for other smallholder farmers.
FiBL – Accelerating the Organic Market Development in Kenya
Organic production has a lot of potential in Kenya, and the demand for organic food is steadily increasing. FiBL is working with the Kenyan Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) to change this:
- All actors along the value chain are brought together to especially help small-scale farmers to better access the market.
- KOAN gets strengthened to improve their services for the whole sector, so to strengthen the further development of the organic sector.
Fundes - Ecobodegas
EcoBodegas makes healthy and local food accessible to all by connecting agroecological & local producers with the market. It prepares small producers and associations of farmers for market readiness and distributes their produce to neighborhood stores in Peru and Mexico. By leveraging the traditional retail channel, EcoBodegas creates a local and inclusive value chain in the agri-food sector.
LBF collaborates with a global network of partner organisations. The following selection gives you an insight into our work in the focus area Regenerative Agriculture.
Biovision - Food Security in Rural Ethiopia
Biovision together with its project partner pursues the following two approaches in order to improve the food security of the rural population: Firstly, with natural resource management works of the defined watershed to rehabilitate the degraded land (erosion). Secondly, the diversification of income generation through distribution of small ruminants and chickens as well as backyard gardening especially for women. All stakeholders are involved in the decision-making of the intervention.
Regeneration Academy - Education for Landscape Regeneration
The Regeneration Academy uses education as a tool to regenerate landscapes. With their local programs and activities, they increase the knowledge on sustainability and regenerative agriculture amongst the participants. They see the importance to provide students the tools to make a decent livelihood from what the countryside has to offer while at the same time restoring the landscape and making it sustainable for many generations to come.
Swissaid - Food security through the promotion of indigenous seeds
Year after year, local varieties of agricultural seeds are disappearing - including in Colombia. As a result, food production is declining, and contamination by genetically modified varieties is increasing. To counteract this trend, the SWISSAID project aims to improve the supply of smallholder families with local seeds adapted to climatic conditions. Farmers' seed banks are being set up, seed networks are being supported, and local seed experts are being trained.
We work all over the world, but we concentrate mainly on the rural environment and regions where people experience discrimination or exclusion (social, political and/or economic).