The Association with the Ukranian name "Schiwa Semlja" (English "Living Earth") began in the autumn of 2000 with the meeting of three people:
1. Since 1993 Hans Kuratli, a former teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in St. Gallen, Switzerland, has regularly been visiting the Ukrain, where he accompanies the establishment of a young Waldorf School in Dnjepropetrowsk.
2. Cristina Lieberherr, a gardening teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Aesch, Switzerland, and a friend of the Kuratlis, planned to work as a gardener in Russia. Since Hans Kuratli was already familiar with the Ukraine, the two looked for possible initiators there, who were interested in supporting bio-dynamic agriculture.
3. Rainer Sax, a farmer, who had provided various young Ukrainian farmers with field placements on his farm, was asked by these farmers to come to the Ukraine to advise them how they could apply what they had learned.
The contact of the above mentioned individuals led to the planning of a seminar in Western Ukraine to introduce bio-dynamic agriculture.
In March 2000, the three traveled to Lviv (Western Ukraine). Meeting with herb farmers and small farmers strengthened their determination to look for a way to proceed together with these individuals.
The three initiators invited a group of interested individuals to come to Switzerland. Together they visited various herb farmers, processing plants, farms and experimental fields between the Jura and Lake Constance.
In October 2000, the Association "Schiwa Semlja" (Living Earth) was founded as a project of ACACIA, Funds for Developmental Cooperation in Basel, Switzerland.
Previous Association Activities
- Advising and training farmers and gardeners
- Advisory visits to the farms and gardens
- Providing small loans
- Supporting model farms
- Expanding and deepening the work with supplements
- Further development of a direct-sowing-maching
- Cooperation with the agricultural educational institutions in Switzerland and the Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Association Biolan and other developmental cooperative initiatives
In order transfer the responsibility for our activities increasingly to our Ukrainian friends, the twin Association "Schiwa Semlja - Ukraina" was founded. This Association is a recognized non-profit organization that can buy or share real estate, farm land, etc.
Today the activities of the Association are supported by a circle of ca 150 people. Their donations enable the Association to pay a modest fee to the advisors in the Ukraine, to support some farmers with small loans and to accompany the construction of model farms.
ACACIA, Funds for Developmental Cooperation
ACACIA is a fund for developmental cooperation, and was founded in 1996 as a non-profit association. With over 80 members, an active board and a mini-office, we are a small but flexible and effective organization.
Every year we have received increasing contributions from individuals and institution. So far we have passed on half a million Swiss Francs to our projects.
However, raising money and passing it on is just a part of our mission. We want to connect people and cultures, establish relationships and awaken interest. Giving and taking should not take place anonymously, but should enable lively enchanges and human encounters.
For this reason we support projects we know personally. We know the people working in the projects or accompanying them, and maintain varied and personal contact with them. We see ourselves as the link between the project and the money givers. We network, join and make a difference.