Switzerland

The Invisibles

An unexpected journey throughout Swiss poverty

In Switzerland, according to Caritas, more than a person out of ten live under the poverty threshold. Half of these people live in extreme poverty. It’s quite uncommon to have ‘Switzerland’ and ‘poverty’ in the same sentence, but poverty in this rich country exists, it’s a fact.

In great cities like Zürich, Geneva, Bern, Basel and in other towns there are many organizations helping homeless people, collecting food and garments for the poorest, giving assistance to unmarried mothers, unemployed and retired persons. Other charitable entities support the ‘working poors’, those who can’t make a decent living out of their full time jobs – something relatively new for Switzerland, a very wealthy but also a very expensive country.

The Swiss government offers an efficient subsidies system from years, but it’s only from 2012 that poverty has been officially identified as a problem and, despite government’s efforts, it keeps on growing. Maybe it’s because in Switzerland poverty is a no-no topic. It’s something to hide, to yourself and to the whole society.

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