Swiss Leader: Philanthropy is a Culture in Iran

Swiss Leader: Philanthropy is a Culture in IranSwiss Leader: Philanthropy is a Culture in Iran

Philanthropy is a culture in Iran, said Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann during his visit to the Tehran-based Mahak Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

Schneider-Ammann was in Iran last week heading a high-ranking political, economic, and scientific delegation, at the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani.

“Here at Mahak, I am very much impressed. It is a fantastic hospital based on charitable engagement which is very close to what we believe in and what we think is good. That’s why I am absolutely and positively impressed. During my observations at Mahak I realized that philanthropy in Iran is a culture,” Schneider-Ammann said, the news website reported.

Mahak Society to Support Children with Cancer is an NGO dedicated to helping Iranian children with cancer. Founded in 1991, the charity is funded entirely by donations and has supported 11,500 children since its establishment.

“The immense capacity of Iranian society to flourish is what I have observed,” he added.

“In less than a few minutes, I noticed the potential to provide aid to children suffering from cancer. Such capacity shows the commitment of the charity. It can be observed that a culture of philanthropy is prominent in this country and this is not restricted to only financial aspects,” the Swiss leader said.

Noting that he was surprised to see such outreach to cancer patients, he said Iran is moving towards progress and “I can say that Iran shows great promise.”

Congratulating Mahak for being ranked the 4th top NGO in the world in the Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) benchmarking with the score of 95.5, he said care for people and the provision of medical support are key concerns in Switzerland and “Mahak is engaging in this extremely humanitarian and important activity.”

The trustees and directors of the organization briefed him on the services offered by Mahak at a ceremony sponsored by the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce, and attended by senior economic, social and scientific officials/representatives from Switzerland, members of the Iran Chamber of Commerce and state officials.

“I am so impressed. I am thankful to you for the supportive services and despite the economic sanctions Mahak has continued to function. I hope that with the signing of the nuclear accord, Iran-Switzerland bilateral relations will expand in all domains.”

A plaque of honor with a painting by Mahak children was presented to the Swiss president.