Amira Hafner-Al Jabaji

Interreligious Think Tank

Amira Hafner-Al Jabaji

Interreligious Think Tank

«The interreligious Think Tank believes community spirit, cohesion and solidarity are central values and welcomes organizations like the SSCG that promote peaceful coexis- tence in difference and diversity»

Social cohesion is the quality of community life within a given territory. It is made up of resilient social relationships, a positive emotional bond with the community and a pronounced sense of orientation towards the common good. From a normative perspective, social cohesion is a desirable quality that contributes to making society worthwhile and sustainable. Social cohesion is also a prerequisite for economic success and the functioning of democracy. Individualism, pluralism, diversity, polarization and populism, as well as globalization, challenge our sense of public spirit, orientation towards the common good and social cohesion based on solidarity. It is also as yet unclear whether and to what extent digitization and social networks strengthen social cohesion or whether they tend to promote the cult of the ego, tribalism and bubbles of like-minded individuals. In Switzerland, the situation is aggravated because society is heterogeneous, multicultural and mobile. Furthermore, it is not united by a single language, a centuries-old common history and culture, or a common religious creed.

In the case of Switzerland, when we speak of social cohesion or a stronger focus on the common good, there are two things we do not mean. Firstly, we do not aspire to cultural or ethnic homogeneity or the creation of a defining Swiss culture; nor do we seek allegiance to a national sense of identity. On the contrary, it is about the acceptance and encouragement of social diversity. Secondly, promoting social cohesion does not mean strengthening ourselves internally to create a more effective defence against the outside world or even to seal ourselves off from it. Real internal cohesion is not possible if we not have relations based on solidarity with the outside world.

Since its foundation in 1810, the Swiss Society for the Common Good (SSCG) has been committed to creating a society based on solidarity in Switzerland. In the 19th century, it helped to establish the state education, health and social systems. In the 20th, it founded several social umbrella organizations. And at the beginning of present century, the SSCG coordinated the initiative to set up a national solidarity foundation. Today, the SSCG promotes social cohesion through various projects: research into and promotion of volunteer work, development of third-party projects, support for people suffering from poverty, events on the Rütli, the Intergeneration online platform, the “Job Caddie” mentoring project to help people integrate into the world of work; and the launch of a debate on values through new words for the Swiss national anthem.

The SSCG supports specific areas of social cohesion in two-yearly cycles.

The SSCG organizes special exhibitions and events on the Rütli .

The SSCG supports individuals and families afflicted by poverty.

The SSCG promotes civil society and voluntary work in Switzerland.

The SSCG programme Job Caddie targets young people with difficulties during and after vocational training.

The SSCG SeitenWechsel programme promotes charitable thinking and action in business.

The SSCG Intergeneration programme provides online information, exchange and networking to promote intergenerational relations.

The SSCG promotes central Swiss values with new words for the National Anthem.

Make a smart donation

The SSCG is dependent on donations and legacies to be able to directly support individuals and families affected by poverty and promote volunteerism in third-party projects. You can also set up a personal fund with the SSCG, with which you can support a project that is particularly close to your heart over the long term. We would be pleased to advise you personally (044 – 366 50 30). Thank you in advance!

The SSCG donation account:
Postal cheque 80-8980-9
IBAN CH86 0900 0000 8000 8980 9