Albert Schweitzer's influence on Nouvelle Planète
Nouvelle Planète has been widely influenced by the "Ethics of Reverence for Life", which were developed by Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) on the shores of Ogooué river in Gabon. During the interwar period, Schweitzer searched for solutions in a world which he saw as decadent. " I am life that wills to live in the midst of life that wills to live; I must have reverence for life." He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.
He was more a man of action, rather than a philosopher. He put his thoughts into practice and was often misunderstood by his contemporaries. He announced the "duty to help the hungry in the world" and has fulfilled it, by treating the poorest in the hospital in Lambaréné in Gabon. "Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it's the only thing," is another important quote of his. He believed in human beings, not things, as drivers of progress. He was a convinced optimist oriented towards the future.
Willy Randin founded Nouvelle Planète in 1986 and based it on the thinking of Albert Schweitzer, since he had inspired him during his time as a director of the Lambaréné hospital. He wished to start an organization for development cooperation that bases its actions on the needs of the local population and accepts them as the only competent decision makers for their own development. The temporary supports of concrete initiatives are the means to give them the necessary push and help people on the ground to improve their situation themselves. Nouvelle Planète does not design the projects, but only supports existing local projects that are relevant in the specific context and belong to the beneficiary groups.
Today, Nouvelle Planète still acts according to these principles, which are inspired by Albert Schweitzer, such as: reverence for life, act with a purpose, search for simplicity, mutual trust and optimism.