About us

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is the leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid. We provide direct and indirect assistance to over four million children and their families in more than 30 countries each year.

Vision, mission and values


We aspire to a world in which the rights of children, as defined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are always respected. A world in which children can thrive in safe environments and become agents of the change they wish to see in their lives.


Terre des hommes, founded in 1960, is an independent, neutral and impartial Swiss organisation committed to bringing meaningful and lasting change to the lives of children and youth, especially to those most exposed to risks. We strive to improve their well-being and ensure the effective application of their rights as defined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant human rights instruments. To make a difference, we focus on the areas of maternal and child health, children and youth migration, and access to justice. We aim to empower children and youth through active participation. We advocate for the respect of children’s rights, supporting them in voicing their needs and interests. We work in fragile and conflict settings, as well as in stable environments.


Participation and empowerment
We promote and enhance participation and empowerment.
We create the space for active participation and embrace inputs from others.
We are sensitive about others’ needs to have an influence.
We share and delegate power and responsibilities.
Partnership and collaboration
We trust the capacities of our key actors as primary responders and agents of change. We build on their strengths and on their needs.
We champion co-creation and value complementarity.
We appreciate other points of view and seek collectively for pragmatic and innovative solutions.
We manifest humility, respect, fairness and see others as equal partners.
Innovation and learning
We promote a culture of innovation.
We value curiosity, welcome new initiatives, and foster creativity.
We embrace voluntary learning and are ready for trial and error.
We foster knowledge sharing, learning and strive for sustainability.
Diversity and inclusion
We celebrate diversity and inclusion of people.
We genuinely commit to diversity and inclusion and see it as a wealth in all our activities.
We understand the cultural contexts and value differences.
We are truly committed to an equal treatment.
Leadership and excellence
We thrive to offer our best, we think ahead, and are ready and willing to go the extra mile for the well-being of children.
We provide quality programming and support. We are accountable and transparent. We use power responsibly.
We position ourselves through our expertise and savoir-faire.
We advocate for the rights of children whenever possible and seek actively opportunities to do so.

Our principles of action

We act in the best interests of the child, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant human rights instruments;
We foster local partners’ ownership of projects and actions, reinforce local systems to support and enable various national and local stakeholders to provide expertise and best practices;
We implement humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities;
We partner with other organisations to advocate for the respect of children's rights;
We strive for sustainable change in all our actions and programmes by creating positive impact.


Creation of Terre des hommes by Edmond Kaiser.
The charter setting out the primary objectives and ethical principles of the association is drafted by Edmond Kaiser and adopted. The Swiss model inspires the creation of other Terre des hommes bodies in France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, to name but a few. They all come together to form the «Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDHIF)».
La Maison children’s home opens in Massongex, in the canton of Valais.
Terre des hommes Foundation and terre des hommes Switzerland split to form two separate entities.
Edmond Kaiser leaves Terre des hommes to found Sentinelles.
Terre des hommes Switzerland changes its status from an association to a foundation and files its new statutes.
The French Republic awards the Human Rights Prize to Terre des hommes for its work in fighting child trafficking in Eastern Europe.
The Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

International Federation TDH

The Terre des hommes Foundation, based in Lausanne, is a member of the Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDHIF), which includes sister organisations in Switzerland and other countries. The TDHIF allows for their voice to be heard at an international and European level and represents them before the various bodies of the United Nations. It organises awareness-raising campaigns and approves joint positions, always in the best interests of children.

Quality and Certification

Latest news

See all...

Related publications

Courage N° 79: Burkina Faso - Grave crise alimentaire au Sahel
Annual report 2021
Our Values (not up to date)

Related publications