2018 awarded to Françoise Demole, an exceptional Genevan citizen
Monday 1st October 2018 à 18h00, Maison de la paix, Geneva
The Fondation pour Genève, as supported by Genevan authorities, paid an important tribute to Mrs. Françoise Demole for her generous contributions that have made Geneva shine bright.
The wide breadth and diversity of her actions consistently mirror the Genevan values of generosity, humanity and welcome.
Amongst her many commitments, we would like to specifically thank her for presidency of the Main Tendue, of the Fondation de l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Musée de la Réforme which she co-found, of the Fondation of the 50th anniversary of the High Commission, as well many other important contributions to an International Geneva.
The Foundation Board chose to award Françoise Demole with the 2018 prize for her many benefactions within the humanitarian, social, and cultural domains, her warm welcome to foreigners, and her ceaseless attempt to promote an International Geneva.
Naturally, Demole was hesitant upon accepting the prize, as she felt she was not the right candidate, and that the honor granted to her was misplaced. Her acceptance of the prize came under the condition of her award being transformed into a means to help the youth.
Being as committed to introducing the youth to an International Geneva as she is, Francoise Demole suggested we establish a bursary under the guise of the Fondation Eduki, which would prompt young Swiss people to be open-minded and involved
Françoise Demole’s announcement of the bursary made the 2018 ceremony a moving and heart-warming moment. She decided that the bursary would be awarded to the winning class of the Best Project Prize at the next Eduki competition. The Françoise Demole bursary therefore offers financial support for the winning project. The bursary was a means for Françoise Demole to encourage young people to contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and to be creative in their solutions.
If the bursary was not generous enough, Françoise Demole requested that the prize she earned instead be a donation to “Youth for Soap”, a non-profit initiative led by young people from the Genevan school “Espace Entreprise”
Ivan Pictet highlighted her generosity in his welcoming statement “Françoise Demole is without a doubt the perfect embodiment of the values that have gained Geneva such positive recognition: talent, involvement, generosity, and modesty.” These four words summarize the sentiment that was felt during the 2018 ceremony on October 2nd in the auditorium at the Maison de la Paix.
Almost 600 spectators of all ages and backgrounds assembled to express their thanks and honor their friendships with Françoise Demole. Mr. Costin van Berchem was the first to sing Demole’s praises, in manner so humorous and elegant which captivated his audience. Next, prominent figures such as the mayor of Geneva, Sami Kanaan, and the President of the Council of State, Antonio Hodgers, further expressed their thanks to Demole for her many benefactions.
The talented musicians who were also present equally merit mention, notably the pianist/violinist Fanny Monnet, the violoncellist Estelle Revaz, and the renowned pianist, Nelson Goerner. These three musicians have since the start of their careers, received support from Françoise Demole.
The ceremony which was directed by our president, Ivan Pictet, and the newest member of the Foundation Board ended with a standing ovation for Françoise Demole.
Fondation pour Genève would like to give thanks to the Circle of Donors who the ceremony could not have happened without. These donors include the Richmond International, the Crédit-Suisse Group, as well as the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and the City of Geneva. Additionally, we would like to thank the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and le Temps for their generous contributions in helping realize this ceremony.