written by Shorena Messerli

On November 1st, 2018 the fifth Impact Dinner of Aiducation International brought together over 120 partner/donor organizations and individual supporters to share experiences and talk about their work in education.

The evening was opened by Ms Carolina Müller-Möhl, Swiss investor and philanthropist who is highly committed to address socio-political causes, and brings her efforts under the Müller-Möhl Foundation, founded in 2012. „[I am] a privileged Swiss woman. I had a choice of school, further education and profession. The state, the society and my parents supported me throughout my life. I am enjoying, as most of you in this room enjoy, these privileges. Privileges, the ones we want to support tonight, do not have. Their states do not support higher school education and their parents have no financial means to allow their children to be in school longer than required by their government,” said Ms Müller-Möhl in highlighting the importance and challenged of education in Switzerland and abroad.

As studies suggest education reduces poverty, promotes economic grow, improves health and empowers women. „By supporting the educational system in the respective country, Aiducation does not provide “the fish to the hungry fisherman” but provides funding for him to learn how to find the fish. All in the spirit of Pestalozzi: “help for self-help,” she added.

Among many long-time partner organizations of Aiducation, represented at the Impact dinner, were the members of Zühlke Engineering AG., a professional service company founded in 1986. „We strongly believe that education is important for every organization and institution. In our development into an international company we have always maintained a close exchange of ideas and information with other companies and institutions. Openness and continues learning are important foundation for the success of our company. That’s one of the reasons why this cooperation with Aiducation fits perfectly into our philosophy,” said Mr Pascal Urscheler, Zühlke Engineering AG.

The members of Zühlke Engineering AG. also shared their experiences and key leanings of the first Corporate Innovation Academy held Manila, Philippines as a pilot program during the summer of 2018. „We are really proud that participants [of Corporate Innovation Academy] realized that excepting failure is part of the process. It’s OK to make mistake, to learn out of it and make it in a very early stage. Another key learning for all of us was building intercultural competence. We got hands-on experience with design thinking and innovation processes,” said Ms Nicole Feusi. 
The representatives of Zühlke Engineering AG. also highlighted how mutually beneficial Corporate Innovation Academy was for them. „We gave the participants of the Corporate Innovation Academy information but what they gave us back was overwhelming,” said Ms Rahel Weber. „You need to go there to really experience it and not look at it as some kind of mission of bringing goods. Be open,” added Mr Roland Sailer.

The evening was particularly special due to the attendance of Aiducation AiduAlumna, Diana Wangechi, from Kenya. Despite her excellent academic performance, in multiple occasions her continued education was under threat. However, thanks to the Aiducation scholarship she managed to finish the school and was ranked among the TOP-15% students. At the Impact Dinner she shared her personal story and how the scholarship changed her life.

„During April holiday as my mother and I were thinking about what to do next in terms of financing my education. My mum got a call and started screaming. I thought, “oh my god! What’s going on?!” After some time, she said, “I am here with Diana would you like to speak to her?” Then she handed me the phone. On the other side of the phone was the gentlemen, who introduced himself as Jeremiah Kambi. He said, “hi my name is Jeremiah I am CEO of Aiducation International Kenya Chapter, and I am proud to inform you that you have got a scholarship.” I did not know what to say, I was silent for two minutes. I have been chased out of school so many times, but this scholarship meant that I was never again going to have to worry about school fees. It was a turning point in my life,” said Diana.

Later on, Diana Wangechi successfully participated in a number of Mentorship Academies in Kenya and was inspired to become an entrepreneur. She is currently studying political and social science and communication at the university of Nairobi and is an active member of our Alumni-Program. Recently she has also joined Aiducation Team in Kenya as a coordinator of Mentorship Academies.

At Aiducation, we aim to support talents like Diana, who are inspiring role models of their communities. This would not be possible without the support of our dedicated partners and sponsors. For making the fifth Impact Dinner possible, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to ETH, SV Group, Landolt Weine and Chibundiro, a startup from Kenya, who provided take-home gifts for our guests. Last but not least we would like to extend our gratitude to all price sponsors of the tombola, which took part at the final part of the evening.

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