Brighten lives in nursing homes

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Brighten lives in nursing homes

Geneva, Switzerland
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Create art to improve living-standard and promote well-being in nursing homes.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The clinical environment in a nursing home provokes fear and distress in the residents, isn't welcoming for the families and creates difficult work envirnoments for the staff.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our murals comfort the residents by diminishing their fear of the institution. We train professional artists, to work in collaboration with nursing home staff, to address the needs of each room when developing the project. Then we decorate the walls with uplifting and joyous scenes. It is a simple and effective way to bring support to residents and their families. Further it create a positive work environment for eh nursing home staff.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In 2011, four Anouk Foundation artists worked during 4 weeks in the nursing home of Megève in the Alzheimer ward. Once the project was agreed upon and financed we had the artists come in. On their first day all the rooms and common areas were visited and a theme was chosen. Then the artists prepared a project proposal with all the staff and residents input and presented it after 3 days. Upon approval the artists started to paint on the walls and had daily interactions with the staff and residents. Raymonde Lavigne, Director of the Megève EHPAD nursing home, France, wrote at the end of the project: “Thanks to the Anouk Foundation murals these closed wards become more welcoming and familiar. Visitors come more often to see the residents, and the atmosphere is warmer.” Following that success they asked us to return in 2012 and work in the remaining other four floors and common areas. The same donor funded the second project and we worked for another 4 weeks.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other organisations and designers decorate nursing homes. The challenges they pose can be lower budgets and being locally known.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name

von Richter

Implementer(s) and cooperation partners

Anouk Foundation


Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located

, Geneva

How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

Both implementors, Beatriz Aristimuno and Vanessa von Richter, have been working in to support the elderly in nursing homes by providing a welcoming and joyful environment since 2005. They worked together on projects supporting children in hospitals since 2002.
Vanessa von Richter is German, completed a Masters in Development Studies at SOAS, Univ. of London, and worked previously in the Microfinance sector in Asia and South America.
Beatriz Aristimuno is French-Venezelian, worked for 21 years in the Communication and Luxury Business in France and Italy.

Cooperation partner

Coges S.A.


Private company

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

They provide us with free offices and financial know-how. This allows us to keep our administrative costs as low as 15%.

Cooperation partner

Sikkens (Akzo Nobel)


Private company

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

They provide us with free paint and organise all the local and international shipping. Keeping our project material costs at a mere 6%.

Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

To date we worked in state nursing homes, so it was primarily the users that defined the problem and we developed the solution through close collaboration. In general the users are the nursing homes and rarely are they also the funders.
The users would give detailed information about the residents independence, pathologies and daily routine and we would discuss how we could help to make their everyday more welcoming, encouraging and soothing.
We then become the magic paint brushes of the nursing home and create new atmospheres where all feel more at home.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Now approximately a third of our annual projects are in nursing homes.
Repeatedly the staff of nursing homes ask us to find a system to help the elderly find their way and stimulate their memory.
Our artists then create murals representing fun out-door scenes with animals and plants, to help them reconnect with nature and the outside world.
These images rekindle soothing events from the past, promote conversation, create social interaction and help with the orientation in the corridors.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for more than 5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

complementary (your solution is complementing existing solutions and compensating their weaknesses while not intending to substitute them)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

1) We don't have a strong market presence, as we work where donors ask us to go. We try to focus on pockets and expand from there, whilst improving our communication and marketing.
2) Our projects are more expensive then the local design school, as we work with professionals that have worked in over 100 medical institutions through out Europe and are extremely adaptable and knowledgable. There is a question to improve our impact measurement and show why our projects will bring greater results..

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees






External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)

5 Board Members

What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Board: lawyer, financial advisor, doctor, marketing and communications experts.
Employees: Project developer and fund-raiser.
Volunteers: fundraiser, social-media expert, translator.
External advisers and experts: 7 artists, 1 music therapist, accountant, communications expert.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Artists and Music Therapists: We train and work hand-in-hand with the artists and music-therapist. We work on a project basis. On average each artist works 17 weeks per year with us and completes 5 missions in different sites.
Management: The Foundation is managed by two project managers, receiving a salary representing 100% and 70% of their time respectively.
Accountant: Berney & Associées SA
Board Members: They are responsible for setting the strategy. In 2012 the Board met twice. The project managers update the Board on current and pending projects, as well as on all operations.

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.
National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)


Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

All types of nursing homes.

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.
In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

France (Megève, Sallanches, Evian) and Switzerland (Zurich and Geneva).

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

- Reducing fear and disarray: an uplifting atmosphere is comforting for residents, therefore it benefits the moral and medical treatments.
- Reassuring families: a welcoming and joyful atmosphere has a positive emotional influence.
- Encouraging interaction with the medical staff: a soothed and calmed resident communicates more easily and is more cooperative.
- Improving staff working conditions: easier interaction with residents and families.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

A world in which illness and old-age becomes a less traumatic experience for individuals and their families due to a reassuring and welcoming atmosphere.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

- Reducing fear and disarray: residents are less afraid to leave their rooms, some now find their rooms again by themselves and in general they are calmer.
- Reassuring families: families stay longer and in general there are more visits.
- Financial benefit: the families choose these home for their elders above others and the staff is motivated to stay and not change jobs.
- Encouraging interaction with the medical staff: both families and resident are more cooperative.
- Improving staff working conditions: easier interaction with all.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Experience-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on your experiences with the target group), Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Organisational structure, Information on team members, Financial report, Activity report.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.; Vanessa von Richter:

What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

To scale-up by 1) creating a strong impact study, 2) communicating and marketing it well and 3) finding additional revenue streams.