IWC is a founding partner of the Laureus Foundation Switzerland

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—Laureus Cavallo: the project gives socially disadvantaged children and adolescents an opportunity to work with horses and other animals

To establish the guiding principles of the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation in Switzerland, IWC Schaffhausen teamed up with Mercedes-Benz Switzerland. The national branch supports various leisure-time projects that help strengthen children’s and adolescents’ personalities, give them hope and build bridges that bring different cultures together.

The Laureus Foundation Switzerland gives socially, economically and physically disadvantaged children and young people in Switzerland access to selected leisure-time activities that build their self-confidence and promote social integration. Contact with others, common experience and mutual successes enrich them and improve their prospects. The Foundation’s sporting activities give handicapped children a stronger sense of self-esteem and bring them together with other children of the same age who are not disadvantaged, eliminating barriers and prejudice in the process. The emphasis in these projects is on sustainability, interaction with local communities and charitable actions. The Foundation firmly believes that sport makes it easier for different cultures to meet on an amicable footing and reduces prejudice, and that an active lifestyle opens up new perspectives for young people. Numerous well-known sportsmen and -women, as well as much-respected personalities from culture and business, work on an honorary basis for the Laureus Foundation Switzerland and, through their involvement, draw attention to the problems some of these young people have to cope with.

The emphasis in these projects is on sustainability, interaction with local communities and charitable actions

—Buntkicktgut is an open, intercultural street football league for young Swiss people and adolescents from immigrant backgrounds
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—Laureus promotes the winter sports and climbing activities of the Blindspot organization and gives young people who are blind or have sight impairments more equal opportunities

Examples of active and popular projects

Buntkicktgut is an open, intercultural street football league found in many Swiss towns and cities. It is open to young Swiss adolescents and immigrants of both sexes between the ages of 8 and 21. With no financial hurdles to take, they can become involved in their communities while strengthening their social networks. With the support of the Laureus Foundation Switzerland, the range of facilities on offer can be extended exponentially and secured on a long-term basis.

The Blindspot project brings together young people who are blind or sight-impaired with those who are able to see normally in special snowboard and climbing camps, where the emphasis is on adventure, cultivating friendships, breaking down barriers and giving the adolescents a greater sense of the fun in life.

Laureus Cavallo fulfills the dream of children and adolescents from modest financial backgrounds of spending time with horses and of going riding. Thanks to the Foundation, children between the ages of 8 and 14 are able to spend one afternoon a week at the Isliker riding school in Winterthur free of charge. Approaching horses with the necessary care and establishing an emotional bond with them appeals to all the senses and encourages responsibility, patience and empathy.

Midnight Projects Switzerland opens up local gyms in over 50 Swiss municipalities every Saturday evening and gives young people a different choice as to what to do in their leisure time. The fact that admission is free brings together boys and girls from a vast range of backgrounds and enables them to practise different kinds of sport. Moves are already under way to extend the choice with the support of the Laureus Foundation Switzerland.

For further information and pictures of the projects please visit: www.laureus.ch.