Laurent Guye President of the Board05.02.2015 – Laurent Guye was elected president  of the board of Enfants du Monde in December 2014. He succeeds Serge Chappatte, who died in July 2014. Laurent Guye served as a programme co-ordinator and director in several institutions of international cooperation, before becoming the Swiss ambassador to Kyrgyzstan until his retirement in late 2013.

Laurent Guye, why did you decide to work for Enfants du Monde?

Jean-François Giovannini, who is a member of the board, talked to me about Enfants du Monde: the positive results being achieved on the ground, the excellent work of the Geneva office, and the very pleasant atmosphere between members of the board. As this coincided with the start of my retirement, I said to myself that it was a good way of prolonging my involvement in development cooperation. I accepted the presidency to honour the memory of Serge Chappatte, a friend and colleague of mine for more than twenty years.

What do you do when you’re not working for Enfants du Monde?

I still lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, travelling between Geneva and Sicily. I also want to re-visit countries I travelled through decades ago, and to discover others. The mountains call me at every time of year, and I particularly enjoy climbing, mountaineering and hiking there. I value time spent with my family, and my colleagues past and present.

Have you got special links with any of the countries where Enfants du Monde is working?

I have very strong links with Latin America.  I did my academic exchange there in the 1970s and I was struck by the inequalities, the social injustice and the poverty. This drove me to get involved in development cooperation in order to change things. On my return to Switzerland, I joined the Latin American Division of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Berne.

What would you say to persuade someone to support Enfants du Monde?

Enfants du Monde has already proved itself and it operates in such a way as to minimise costs at the Geneva office. Financial investment takes place and projects are implemented on the ground. What is more, Enfants du Monde is an organisation with an acknowledged role in the world of development cooperation.

Read the whole interview in the next magazine coming out in March.