Fondation Hirondelle:
Supporting independent news and information for over 20 years
Who we are

Fondation Hirondelle is a Swiss non-profit organization of journalists and humanitarian aid professionals. Since 1995 it has been creating and supporting independent, broad-based, civic-minded media in conflict zones, post-conflict situations and countries going through democratic transition. Its editorial policy gives priority to defending human dignity and human rights on a concrete, daily basis. Fondation Hirondelle strives to create or support sustainable media that can continue to fulfil their social role after funding and support from the Fondation and its donors comes to an end.

Through its action Fondation Hirondelle defends and puts into practice Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

20 projects, 21 years, 15 countries

Projects created by Fondation Hirondelle since 1995 on three continents (Europe, Africa, Asia), include benchmark media that are extremely popular in their country, such as: Radio Okapi, which has been on-air in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2002 (14 million daily listeners); Studio Tamani, bringing news and debate programs to Mali since 2013 (1.6 million daily listeners); Radio Blue Sky in Kosovo, which was created in 1999 and later became part of the public radio; and the website, an online media that covers transitional justice throughout the world. Fondation Hirondelle has initiated and developed 20 media projects in 15 countries since it was founded. Through them, some 50 million people have been able to access independent information, giving them more hope for their future and that of the societies in which they live.

Fondation Hirondelle's media and projects are supported in 2016 by governments including Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the European Union, private donors and partners, and individual donors. Fondation Hirondelle is not a funding agency and develops strategies for each of its actions to obtain funding and/or generate revenue.

Since it was founded in 1995, Fondation Hirondelle has received several prizes and international awards including the Prix Henri Dunant 2003 "for exceptional contributions to information in crisis zones"; the Prix Condorcet-Aron 2006 for its "management of independent radios notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Liberia, Sudan and in the Great Lakes region"; the Free Media Pioneer Award 2010 awarded by the International Press Institute to Radio Okapi, which it described as "a brilliant example not only for media in conflict and post-conflict countries but for radio stations throughout the world"; and the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) Prize 2014 for protection of journalists, awarded by the PEC organization in recognition of Fondation Hirondelle's support to the journalism profession and its efforts to fight propaganda and hate speech, which fuel conflicts.


Nicolas Boissez
Programme Manager at Fondation Hirondelle
© 2016 Tous droits réservés. Fondation Hirondelle.
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