What a plant has got to do with empowerment…

… and empowerment with work.

It’s the year 1991. A mother and her three little children arrive in Switzerland. She has only brought the most essential belongingness with her and the great hope that things will be better than in her own home country, where it hasn’t been safe for her anymore for some time.

But how do you get a foothold in a new country that you neither know nor understand? Her children are going to school and learning how to read and write and are making lots of new friends. But the mother is having a difficult time integrating. Without recognised vocational training, she barely has a chance of finding a job and life is quickly shrinking into a tightly knit network consisting of her home, shops and the few acquaintances she has…

One of many

The story of Bora’s mother, Hatun, is just one of many. Women in particular often have a difficult time integrating into a new country. Unrecognised or lacking work experience, children needing to be looked after, language barriers and the danger of ending up doing undeclared work can make successful arrival difficult.

When Salomé first hears this story, she immediately knows that something has to change. In no time at all, she puts together a simple website on which she lists all the services that Hatun has already mastered to perfection. Within just a few weeks, the first requests for sewing, cleaning and washings jobs start coming in. Soon, there are too many requests for a single person to handle and other women are brought on board. Valeriana* is born.

Valeriana is a non-profit social impact project. Our main goal is to bring society closer together. We can do this with integration through work in the housekeeping sector. On the one hand, we’ve got people with a migration background whom we are offering the opportunity to work in exchange for a fair wage. In this way, they become part of the Valeriana Community. And on the other hand, we’ve got the public that is needing support with their chores. When you book through Valeriana, you receive help for your household while doing good at the same time by giving somebody a chance. We use our own platform and technology to multiply this positive effect.

(By the way, Valeriana is the botanical name of both the “busy Lizzie” as well as of “Valerian” — which makes it the perfect metaphor for what we do. While our trained professionals diligently handle your orders, all you have to do is to sit back and relax. And it also includes the word “Ana”, which translates as “mother”.)

Our vision

Through the integration through work approach and effective community work, we want to strengthen the public’s sense of community and bring society closer together. We give people with a migration background a real chance at participating in Swiss life. We give their work a fair value and promote intercultural exchange wherever we can.

The United Nations has proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for our world. Combined, these goals make up a global plan to promote sustainable peace, prosperity and to protect our planet. Since 2016, work has been underway around the world to translate this shared vision into national development plans in order to fight poverty and reduce inequalities.

We are focused on the following four goals:


SDG 4 Quality Education
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

SDG 5 Gender Equality
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities
Reduce inequality within and among countries.

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