by Marc Elvinger, Chairman Friendship Luxembourg

Chères amies, chers amis,

Dear Friends of Friendship (English translation below)

En me joignant de tout cœur à ses vœux, je partage avec vous (même si certains d’entre vous auront déjà pu le recevoir) le message de Nouvel An de Runa Khan, Fondatrice et Directrice Exécutive de Friendship, dans lequel elle fait très brièvement le bilan des réalisations de Friendship au courant de l’année – et à certains égards de la décennie – qui vient de se terminer.

Friendship a très considérablement étendu ses activités au courant des dix dernières années, alors que l’organisation s’apprête à célébrer son vingtième anniversaire en 2021.

Alors que la « croissance » n’a jamais été un objectif en soi pour Friendship – si ce n’est dans le souci de servir un maximum de personnes autrement exclues d’opportunités essentielles – il est à prévoir que l’expansion de ses activités se poursuivra – et peut-être s’accélérera – au courant de la décennie qui vient de s’ouvrir. De plus en plus sans doute, cette extension se fera au travers de partenariats, que ce soit avec les autorités publiques ou des acteurs non gouvernementaux – le message de Runa Khan fait part de certaines de ces collaborations qui se sont nouées au courant des dernières années et qui ont vocation à se développer progressivement.

Dans ce contexte, le plus important pour Friendship sera de ne pas perdre de vue – et ne fut-ce qu’un instant – ce qui fonde son action et, sans doute, a été et reste le principal facteur de son succès : sa fidélité constante à ses valeurs fondamentales d’Intégrité, Dignité, Justice, Qualité et Espoir. Un défi dont je suis confiant qu’un leadership d’exception et, au-delà, une équipe au dévouement extraordinaire, nous permettront de le relever moyennant la conscience active, au jour le jour, de ce qui est essentiel dans notre action.

Runa Khan l’a dit en termes particulièrement parlants à l’occasion, notamment, de la soirée fondatrice de Friendship Belgique en décembre 2018 :

Back in 2005, when Friendship was striving towards dreams of expansion which I felt must be somehow achieved, a young student asked me in the midst of a field visit with particularly long working hours: ‘Apa how do you see Friendship in 20 years time?’ I stopped my work, stepped back and reflected what was the most important thing to achieve and leave behind – the one deeply true thing, I felt without which I couldn’t bear Friendship to be. I said: ‘Not in 20 years but in 100yrs, I want Friendship to retain and work on the same values on which am building it today’. Projects, systems, ways of working and achieving things, technology used, all will change and must change, but one thing that must remain as is, even in a 100years, is the value on which I built it.

C’est dès aujourd’hui, et pendant tous les jours qui suivent, que nous voulons œuvrer à la préservation de ces fondamentaux. Le reste s’en suivra !

Il ne me reste qu’à souhaiter que nous vous garderions à nos côtés dans notre entreprise.


Dear Friends of Friendship,

I offer you my own heartfelt good wishes for the New Year and share with you (though some of you may have already received it) the New Year’s message from Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Friendship, in which she gives a very brief review of Friendship’s accomplishments over the past year – and in some respects over the past decade.

Friendship has expanded its activities very considerably over the past decade as the organization approaches its 20th anniversary in 2021.

While “growth” has never been a goal in itself for Friendship – except for the goal of serving as many people as possible who would otherwise be excluded from essential opportunities – it is to be expected that the expansion of its activities will continue – and perhaps accelerate – in the decade ahead. Increasingly, this expansion will undoubtedly take place through partnerships, whether with public authorities or non-governmental actors – Runa Khan’s message highlights some of the collaborations that have been established over the last few years and which are destined to develop progressively.

In this context, it will be most important for Friendship not to lose sight – even if only for a moment – of what underpins all its activities, and what without doubt, has been and remains the main factor in its success: its constant adherence to its fundamental values of Integrity, Dignity, Justice, Quality and Hope. I am confident that exceptional leadership and, moreover, an extraordinarily dedicated team, together with active day by day awareness of this factor so essential to all our actions, will enable us to meet this challenge.

Runa Khan addressed the point in particularly telling terms on the evening of the founding of Friendship Belgium in December 2018:

Back in 2005, when Friendship was striving towards dreams of expansion which I felt must be somehow achieved, a young student asked me in the midst of a field visit with particularly long working hours: ‘Apa how do you see Friendship in 20 years time?’ I stopped my work, stepped back and reflected what was the most important thing to achieve and leave behind – the one deeply true thing, I felt without which I couldn’t bear Friendship to be. I said: ‘Not in 20 years but in 100yrs, I want Friendship to retain and work on the same values on which am building it today’. Projects, systems, ways of working and achieving things, technology used, all will change and must change, but one thing that must remain as is, even in a 100years, is the value on which I built it.

On preserving those fundamentals, we intend to continue working from today, and on all the days to come. The rest will follow from that!

It remains for me simply to add our wish that you will stay by our side on the journey.

Marc Elvinger

Chairman Friendship Luxembourg