Press article - La Côte 08.08.19
For more than a decade, Alexander Wettstein has been fighting to give the Indonesian people access to medical care. A commitment that is about to take a new turn.
"If I could, I would help the whole world. But I only have two arms and two legs!" smiles Alexander Wettstein.
This former resident of Le Vaud is the founder of the Fair Future Foundation, which gives the people of Indonesia free access to health and medical care.
Since 2008, thanks to his work, between 30,000 and 40,000 patients are treated each year. But for this training nurse, it's still not enough!
His next project?
Develop its foundation and extend it to the whole country. All while keeping his Swiss DNA. "It's very important to me. We want to import Swiss know-how" he says. A fight for this Vaudois, who does not hesitate to say what he thinks, in a country where corruption reigns. "Confronting politics in Switzerland does not hurt. But here in Indonesia, yes" he says.
Since its funds are limited, the foundation sometimes has to abandon a project to focus on other priorities. It also tries to withdraw from projects when they can work on their own. A pill is hard to swallow for those who feel neglected.
Threatened, Alexander Wettstein had to hire a bodyguard and went as far as moving: "Only my closest collaborators know where I live!" He took steps to make the foundation work as a Swiss organisation legally established, and not in partnership with local associations as it has done so far. This would give it legitimacy and support from the Swiss authorities.
A fear that does not paralyse
Despite this situation, fear does not cripple it. "It pushes me forward. I still believe there is always a solution. Arrest me? I can not! " he says emphatically. Militant in his soul, Alexandre says that his father, the Prof. and geneticist Axel Kahn give him inspiration and strength. While still in Switzerland, he also became president of the communal council of the city of Le Vaud.
Today, his mission is of another scale.
"I always wanted to do something different for those who have nothing," he says. To turn as it would like, the foundation would need between 250,000 and 300,000 Swiss francs a year. "We do not even reach half!" sighs the old Vauli. The Fair Future Foundation relies on private donations.
For his part, Alexandre Wettstein earns, thanks to a "guest house", a small salary of 300 francs per month which he still gives a piece to the foundation. "In the beginning, we were financing the projects. But since 2010, we are involved!" he notes. For Alexandre, it means working seven days a week, up to 18 hours a day. "I'm always worried," he admits.
Mastery of the language
If her two daughters (Flavie and Elisa) born from a first union live in Switzerland, he married a year ago with Ayu, a native of his adopted country, also involved in the foundation. "She's like me: hyperactive, she needs to work!" he smiles.
At 52, Alexandre Wettstein spent half of his life abroad, working for national and international associations in the social field. But why choose Bali? Why not answer this philanthropist. It could have been everywhere else. But he knew the country for working and travelling there. Friendships, meetings, and the associative machine were on the way.
Small first, then bigger and bigger. In what was the first medical centre is now a restaurant like no other. Twenty young people in social difficulty hold the Fair Warung Balé. No accountant, no-cook, they are the ones who do everything. A dish that is served can fund two medical consultations. "I have already been asked to open one in Lausanne: we would eat Indonesian food sitting on the ground, and young people in reintegration would do the service. I dream about it! " Admits Alexandre Wettstein.
His home country, Switzerland!
But also gruyere cheese, bread, a glass of white wine. And the charm of the "Swiss who sulk main of the time... I miss that also!".
In Indonesia, you can not sit in a cafe without someone coming to talk to you. Everyone smiles at you. When, after that, you take the metro in Lausanne, it's weird, "...he laughs".
Nevertheless, he remains an "absolute fan" of his country and will continue to be a faithful ambassador in his new homeland.
We thank you for your interest, kindness and trust.
Very sincerely yours - Fair Future Foundation Switzerland - Alex Wettstein - Indonesia, the 09.08.2019