Christmas fai Roeschibachplatzr


December 1st, 2018


Our volunteer coordinator Annick Girardier sold homemade Christmas ginger bread and handcrafted products created by th visitors of the Bashira Centre on Lesvos at the Christmas market on Roeschibachplatz in Zurich. The unique small and large «safe-passage-bags» from Lesvossolidarity and the pennants in all rainbow colors of Soliwimpel completed the offer. It was a fantastic success!

A great occasion with a wonderful team – a bis thank you to Annick, Marianne, Sara, Raffaella and Nadine – you are the best!


July 2018


What a cool and successful fundraising campaign for SAO: Thomas Gschwind cycled from Zurich to Genoa without a break on July 5, 2018, collecting more than 5'000 Swiss francs for SAO. We are as impressed as we are grateful!


And these are the bare numbers of our hero: Distance 508 km, pure driving time 19:41:55 hours, 3'636 vertical meters and 17'938 calories consumed. During the whole trip there was no accident, no procedure and only four flat tires in the whole group. So on the edge: In the Po-lowlands the mosquitoes even pierced through the shoes – Thomas, you rock!


June 2018


3:35:40 and more than 1'000 Swiss francs for SAO! Starting number 2764 has brought luck to Annick Girardier and SAO. The 48-year-old designer from Zurich ran the Aletsch Half Marathon in a brilliant time on June 24, collecting donations for Sao. Thank you, dear Annick – and all donors!

Annick Girardier is now also part of the SAO
team in Switzerland: she coordinates the volunteers.


Dezember 2016


Our Chief Administrator, Ursula Hess and our Founder Raquel Herzog were able to do a very nice job on Lesvos in December 2016: they handed a unique, beautiful, handmade blanket over to refugee children as a personal gift.

According to our picture guidelines we do not show the faces of the children but we believe that photographer Jojo Schulmeister was able to catch the joy and being all smiles of the children quite well.

Especially touching was the smiling reaction of the parents reading the card of «Mini Decki» (Swiss-German for: my blanket) which is translated in Arabic, Farsi and Tigrinya.

Many thanks to «Mini Decki» and all the sewing ladies in Switzerland – the warmth of your work has reached the children.


October 2016


More than 500 boxes in three days: At the end of October 21016, SAO actively participated in a clothing collection organized by Züri4refugees in the Zurich area, together with teams of volunteers. The relief was transported to Tessaloniki and the SAO-warehouse on Lesvos in time for winter and distributed to the camps.


October 2016


The association «Hiufspaket» (formerly «Bernhiuft») organized a table tennis tournament in Berne to collect donations. SAO was part of it and one of the two beneficiaries. Thank you very much! The «Hilfspaket» association can be found on Facebook.

July - September 2016

Following a cry for help from camp Kypselochori, we visited the camp in August 2016. In this camp with summer tents 70 out of the 150 inhabitants were small children but the military refused to provide them with milk. SAO provided the camp over month with the finances to buy fresh milk and we sent them baby milk powder, clothes and toys from the warehouse.


Fortunately, the camp has been suspended before the harsh winter and the residents were brought to better lodging.

Januar - 20. March 2016


While the borders were still open hundreds of refugees left Lesbos  by ferry to continue their journey via Balkan route. People carried their entire belongings. SAO and other organizations provided them daily with the necessary. Raquel noticed that especially women were carrying heavily because they very often had toddlers in their arms and she was reminded of how she had carried her own children with a toddler sling. She therefore started putting the big shawls aside in Attika and instructed the young volunteers how to offer these to the women as wraparound toddler carriers.


May 2016


When the borders were closed in March 2016 and the arriving humans could not leave the island after 3-4 days anymore, we came across a new problem: people needed fresh clothes. In a first step, we bought around 1000 wash-bowls and distributed them in the camp together with washing powder. We also took the occasion to put a legal information flyer in 4 languages into each of those bowls.

SAO Association

Head office

Badenerstrasse 21, CH-8004 Zurich

+41 78 825 80 85 .

Registered CH-5436 Wuerenlos

UID CHE-438.203.855

Zuercher Kantonalbank ZKB

P.O. Box . CH-8010 Zurich

Donations CHF

CH86 0070 0114 8023 0668 5

Donations Euro

CH19 0070 0130 0091 1535 8

Clearing: 700


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