The UBS Optimus Foundation is an expert grant-making foundation established by UBS in 1999. The Foundation works to break down barriers that prevent children from reaching their potential by funding leading organizations to improve the health, education and protection of children.
The UBS Optimus Foundation supports projects in countries where children face adversity. We focus on results and demonstrate impact. Our expert grant-making team collectively has nearly 100 years experience drawn from UN agencies and global NGOs.
UBS covers all of the Foundation’s administrative costs, so 100 percent of all donations go directly to the projects which improve children’s lives.
Project and grant areas
Children need help to escape the vicious cycle of poor health, lack of education, child abuse and long-term poverty. We are committed to finding the smartest and most effective approaches.
Each of the projects we support is subjected to rigorous evaluation so that we can establish what does and does not work.
We conducted extensive research to determine the areas where we can help most. Within child health we focus on three key areas:
First minutes of life - The period just before and after birth is the most precarious time for mothers and their babies. We are bringing down high mortality rates in mums and babies by delivering effective healthcare solutions.
Child-friendly care - Many children suffer due to a lack of basic nutrition and healthcare. We’re helping by reformulating healthcare and nutritional solutions to suit kids. We also make sure these solutions reach communities, however remote and poor.
Communities caring for kids - We work with native experts and frontline health workers who understand the local conditions which affect a community's health. Their knowledge ensures we find a solution that’s local and lasting.
To address the problem, we are working hard to shed light on the causes and impacts of child maltreatment by focusing on the following priorities:
Strengthen capacity - We capitalize on and add to local knowledge in order to bolster the efforts of program funders and implementers in tackling sexual abuse.
Build a culture of evidence - To deal with sexual abuse effectively, child protection policies must be based on evidence. We’re doing research at grass roots level within projects to build this knowledge base and develop assessment tools and best practices.
Create knowledge, communicate and advocate - Creating and sharing knowledge about child abuse will help to ensure that children are better protected in the future. We are helping to drive change by gathering and sharing information among all our stakeholders. This will improve policy and practice, boost funding and provide greater legal protection for children.
Nearly 70 million children around the world remain out of school. More than 40% of those lucky enough to be in school are not able to read at a level appropriate for their age. We are helping to enhance the quality of education by focusing on the following areas:
Encouraging early education - Helping parents, educators and communities to embrace and understand early education.
Children fit for school - Giving teachers, administrators, parents and communities the skills and resources they need to create and support preschool programs and the transition from preschool to primary schools.
Schools fit for children - Giving schools the right equipment and helping them put systems in place so they can give children a quality education.