About us

Terre des hommes is the leading Swiss child relief agency. Through our health and protection projects, we provide assistance to over two million children and their families in over thirty countries each year.

Vision and values


Children are the first to suffer in times of war, natural disasters and as a result of poverty. At Terre des hommes, our goal is to steadily improve the conditions of the most vulnerable children worldwide. We are focused on five main objectives:
Improving the health of infants up to the age of 3 and of children in need of specialised medical care
Protecting migrant children
Preventing child exploitation
Promoting restorative justice for children in trouble with the law
Providing humanitarian aid to children and their families in times of emergency and crisis

Our programmes and projects revolve around

Children’s rights and their best interests
Creating a strong local presence in close proximity to children, their families and communities
Establishing close cooperation with local bodies based on respect
Constant improvement and innovation
Enhancing heath and protection systems in the long term
Gaining recognition in Switzerland as a reliable organisation and source of financing

Our core values are

Courage : We strive to make brave choices and to act with conviction and determination.
Ambition : We aim to bring about positive, significant and lasting change in the lives of children and their communities.
Respect : We favour an honest, responsible and open approach based on cooperation and acceptance of diversity.
Commitment : We endeavour to act with humanity and professionalism with and around children, and to promote fairness and equality.


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.
Terre des hommes Switzerland changes its status from an association to a foundation and files its new statutes.
The Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Fédération Internationale 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


What does Terre des hommes do?

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is the leading Swiss child relief agency. The Foundation has been helping children in need for over 50 years, defending their rights regardless of their race, creed or political affiliation. In over 30 countries, Tdh protects children against exploitation and violence, improves children’s and their mother’s health and provides emergency psychological and material support in humanitarian crises.

In which countries does Tdh work?

Tdh works in over 30 countries throughout the world in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle and Far East.

Is Tdh politically active?

Terre des hommes is an independent foundation that is not affiliated to any religious or political organisation. We work to protect vulnerable children and their families, regardless of their race, creed or political affiliation. Where children's rights are abused or not observed, we are outspoken advocates for change. This involves a constructive debate with stakeholders of all kinds: e.g. civil-society groups, law-makers, political and religious leaders.

Who was Edmond Kaiser?

Edmond Kaiser (1914 – 2000) was a French-Swiss dual citizen who founded Terre des hommes in 1960. Shaken by the appalling situation of children in refugee camps during the Algerian conflict in 1960, he devoted the rest of his life to helping children in need.

Does Tdh run any aid projects in Switzerland?

Terre des hommes advocates for children and their rights. Our volunteers and employees organise campaigns to raise awareness of our work among the public and to collect donations. Many children are also transferred to Switzerland to be operated on as part of our medical missions.

Will my donation really be used to help children in need?

Yes, the use of all donations and expenses is monitored. The ZEWO certificate guarantees that we are a nonprofit charity. 86% of the donations goes directly to our child relief projects, 14% is used for the functioning of our headquarters and for communication and fundraising campaigns.

Quelles possibilités de bénévolat offre Terre des hommes?

Les alternatives sont multiples. En fonction de votre disponibilité vous pouvez:

  • Être membre d’un Comité pour aider à coordonner un groupe bénévole et prendre en charge l’organisation des actions (activité régulière, compatible avec le travail ou études)
  • Devenir marraine pour accompagner et soutenir des enfants pendant leurs soins chirurgicaux aux hôpitaux (CHUV, HUG, Insel) (activité régulière, 2 demi-journées par semaine)
  • Soutenir les actions du groupe bénévole (activité sporadique, 2 – 3 jours, une ou plusieurs fois dans l’année)
  • Devenir convoyeur/euse pour transporter des enfants opérés à la sortie de l’hôpital et jusqu’à La Maison de Tdh en Valais. (avec votre véhicule, réponse aux appels – plusieurs fois dans l’année)
  • Être traducteur/trice bénévole des documents de Tdh (activité spécialisée, sporadique, plusieurs fois dans l’année).

Vous trouverez toutes les informations dans la rubrique «Bénévolat». De plus, nous vous envoyons volontiers notre documentation.

Qu'est-ce que Terre des hommes Valais?

Terre des hommes Valais gère La Maison à Massongex, un home médicalisé pour enfants, et est à ce titre l’un des principaux partenaires de la Fondation Tdh pour notre programme de soins spécialisés. La Maison accueille des enfants gravement malades provenant d’une quinzaine de pays d’Afrique, du Moyen-Orient et d’Europe de l’Est transférés en Suisse pour y être opérés.


What is the difference between Tdh Switzerland based in Geneva and the Tdh Foundation with its headquarters in Lausanne?

Terre des hommes Switzerland and the Tdh Foundation are two different organisations. This is the result of a separation in 1972 due to a differences of opinion between the people responsible for the organisation at that time. The two organisations are nevertheless complementary. They manage their projects independently but occasionally work together.

Why is it that when I search for www.terredeshommes.ch on the Internet, I do not get your website?

The address “terredeshommes.ch” belongs to Terre des hommes Switzerland (Geneva and Basel). Our own address is abbreviated: www.tdh.ch

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Related publications

Courage n° 54 - Children victims of a long-lasting conflict.
Making an Impact for Children: Annual Report 2015.
Our Values

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