A varied and exciting National Future Day at the FDFA: from a Zimbabwe trip and translations to an usher carrying plates...

Press release, 09.11.2017

To mark National Future Day 2017 at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, a group of over 75 children spent a day at work with their parents or friends of the family, taking a look behind the scenes and learning about the different types of work done by the grown-ups there.

A group of children listen to FDFA employees describing their work.
FDFA staff explain their work to the children visiting for National Future Day. © FDFA

Given the many different subject areas covered by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the variety of work practices at its different directorates, it comes as no surprise to hear such a wide range of feedback from the more than 75 children taking part in today's National Future Day at the FDFA.

Josefine, for example, thought it was really exciting to see the different relief supplies used by Swiss Humanitarian Aid, while Robin was interested to see how Switzerland is helping to fight forest fires in northern Italy. At the Directorate of International Law (DIL), Isabel and Gaëlle watched a film about the UN and human rights and spoke with the head of the DIL, Roberto Balzaretti. This led them to think about the way things should be improved around the world, in Switzerland and even closer to home.

Juliette and Zoé met the director general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Manuel Sager, and learnt about his trip to Zimbabwe in a short film shown to the children. Alice found it "crazy" that 95% of people in one of the towns in the film were out of work, and Noemi was impressed to see how the SDC helps the people living there.

The children also got a chance to see some of the FDFA's different work practices in action. Oriana enjoyed hearing about translating from one language to another. Dario put together a presentation using a computer, while Naim was impressed to see how quickly the web publisher can upload a document to the website. At the FDFA Language Service, Louis-Arno learnt how computers can be used in translation.

Apart from the FDFA itself, Juliette and Zoé were also impressed by "the architecture of the Federal Palace". Seeing the Federal Palace from the inside was a huge thrill for Noemi, while the dome was Fabian's favourite part. For Robin, one of the most memorable sights of National Future Day 2017 at the FDFA was "seeing one of the Federal Palace ushers carrying plates".

Putting together the various impressions of the day in a press release (which you’re reading now) and coming up with a suitable title was the topic of one of the workshops organised by the FDFA for the children. Among the others:

- Presence Switzerland held a workshop on what people in other countries know about Switzerland and the different ways they promote Switzerland abroad.
- The Directorate for Resources presented the wide range of job profiles of people working at the FDFA, both in Switzerland and around the world, and the various apprenticeships available at the FDFA.
- Swiss Humanitarian Aid, part of the SDC, showed the children how they help people in need, for example in rebuilding after a natural disaster.
- FDFA IT held a workshop on the work they do to make sure all FDFA employees around the world can use their computers for their day-to-day work.

National Future Day at the FDFA is organised every year by the FDFA Equal Opportunities and Global Gender Issues section. The objective is to give young people an insight into the various opportunities and subject fields for working life in general, and specifically at the FDFA. And it would appear they have no shortage of ideas: Lino, for example, wants to be a pilot or an architect. Or work in humanitarian aid. Or maybe even in the secret service.

This press release was written with the participation of Louis-Arno, Naim, Dario, Isabel, Robin, Alice, Josefine, Oriana, Gaëlle, Juliette, Zoé, Noemi, Fabian and Lino.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs