Drosos Foundation

Drosos Foundation is a privately-endowed Swiss foundation funding community initiatives in the Levant and North Africa. It was established in Zurich in 2003 by Christa Gelpke-Engelhorn to support disadvantaged children, young people and young adults and empower them to take control of their lives and make a positive contribution within their community. Headquartered in Zurich, but with offices in Egypt, Palestine, and Morocco, it funds local organisations to deliver a range of programmes covering arts, life skills, job training and SME mentoring.

Related sustainable development goals

  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Partnerships for the Goals

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Arts
  • Development
  • Education

Focus populations

  • Artists and performers
  • At-risk youth
  • Low-income people
  • Self-employed people
  • Students
  • Unemployed people

Focus geographies

  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Switzerland
  • Middle East
    • Lebanon
    • Palestine
    • Jordan
  • North Africa
    • Morocco
    • Tunisia
    • Egypt


  • Alhassan Foundation for Differently Abled
  • Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al-Thaqafy)
  • Art Culture Studio
  • Art to Heart
  • Association Theatre Nomade
  • Bait Byout
  • Baseera Foundation
  • Children of Female Prisoners Association
  • Egypt Foundation for Integrated Development (El Nidaa)
  • Giza Systems Education Foundation
  • GoMyCode (GMC)
  • Groupe AMH
  • Helm
  • L'art rue
  • Lammet Sahafeh (LS)
  • Nahdet el Mahrousa
  • Palestinian Performing Arts Network
  • QADER for community development
  • Red Noses- Palestine
  • Tajalla for Music and Arts
  • Takatof Foundation
  • THAAT Social Enterprise
  • The Egyptian Advance Society for persons with Autism and other disabilities
  • Theatre de l'Aquarium
  • Wataneya Society


  • Ahoj Altenburg
  • Al Jabal Business Incubator
  • Al Jisr Association
  • Al Kasaba Theatre
  • Alfanar
  • American University of Cairo
  • Appropriate Communication for Development ACT
  • B.O.T.
  • CARE Egypt Foundation
  • Crescenda
  • Future Pioneers for Empowering Communities’ Members in the Environmental and Educational Field
  • GoMyCode
  • Gorara Association for Arts and Culture
  • Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Nahdet El Mahrousa
  • OSEO Fribourg
  • Palestinian Circus School
  • Perkins International Academy
  • Quillo e.V.
  • s
  • Sela for Vocational Training and Protection of Heritage
  • Shabab Masr
  • Theatre Day Productions
  • Tunisian Association of Permaculture (ATP)
  • University College of Applied Sciences Technology Incubator (UCASTI)
  • Verbund offener Werkstätten
  • Wataneya Society
  • Werkstatt Quillo


  • Promoting creative skills
    Drosos develops and funds projects that promote creativity and creative expression as a means to strengthen life skills among children and youth for individual and social development. The organisation focuses on themes such as visual arts, performing arts, contemporary arts, applied arts, new media, photography or music. The foundation also supports activities and initiatives aiming to establish new creative spaces to improve and empower artistic skill development. Projects such as "Professional Training on Street Arts" in Morocco aim to enhance artistic expression and skills among local artists to enhance their socio-economic opportunities. Another project called "Possibility Beyond Disability" seeks to empower artists with disabilities and to enhance their active participation in the societal scene in northern Palestine.
  • Promoting economic independence
    The foundation supports projects that help youth and adults achieve economic independence by focusing on employability, entrepreneurship, promotion and expansion of SMEs and social entreprises, vocational and technical training, individual mentoring and coaching, as well as supporting the development of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators to strengthen the economic ecosystem. One example is Kendaka Upcycles, which works to economically empower Egyptian women from Badr City and upcycle waste into innovative and trendy products. Another example is the Handicraft Academy project, implemented in Jordan and aims at raising the employability, technical skills and productivity of 1,000 young women through dedicated vocational training courses.


Funding model

  • Foundation-administered programme awards
  • Grants to organisations
  • Matching grants
  • Programme related investment

Primary funders

  • Christa Gelpke-Engelhorn

Funding source

  • Private


Key staff

  • Suba Umathevan, CEO
  • Christian Strob, chief programme officer
  • Corinna Gröger, COO

Board members

  • Markus E. Kronauer, chair
  • Stefan Kraft, honorary chair
  • Edith Kolb, vice chair
  • Hans-Rudolf Castell
  • Toni Stadler
  • Barbara Grünewald

Contact details



Drosos Foundation Annual Report 2022