Our ambassadors and volunteers
Terre des hommes is fortunate in having the support of volunteer ambassadors who, due to their careers, are in the public eye and a focus of media attention. These prominent people, well-known artists, radio and television hosts, and Miss Switzerland, all raise public awareness of vulnerable children. Our ambassadors represent Terre des hommes at public events, hold interviews, and support voluntary initiatives such as the sale of oranges. Moreover, they visit our projects accompanied by journalists, in order to alert the public to a specific problem.
Ambassador since 2017
“Humanitarian issues in general are very close to my heart and I find the work done by Terre des hommes for children particularly interesting. I was happy to learn about some of their projects at the music festival in Massongex, where I have twice taken part. Just over two years ago I went with this NGO to visit Syrian refugee children in Jordan, and I am truly happy to cooperate with them in the year ahead.
I am planning to go to Colombia to help support the reintegration of teenagers in conflict with the law in Latin America, the most dangerous region of the world. I am really looking forward to meeting these youngsters.”
Ambassador since 2009
“As a mother of two, it is my heart-felt concern that as many children as possible in the world should have a future free from worries. Journeying with Tdh in Morocco made me realise just how fortunate I am to live in Switzerland, to have grown up here and to watch my children grow up here. I also witnessed the incredible commitment that lies behind the work of Tdh, and the extent of resources needed for such a project. I came to know Tdh as a serious-minded organisation that effectively deploys the money it receives. The visit reconfirmed my commitment to vulnerable children around the world. I’m proud that I can play my part in working for Terre des hommes.”
Read more about Sandra Boner’s commitment
Ambassador since 2016
“Terre des hommes initiatives are all about geopolitics. Committing to the largest Swiss NGO for child welfare is an obvious choice for a father of three. At Tdh we react in a practical way to what’s happening in the world, and our core concern is children. Deploying projects in health, education, legal defence, that type of applied geopolitics impresses me. What are we doing in Iraq, in South Sudan, in Dadaab? How should one behave in a dictatorship? It’s hard to be more concrete than that. As a former presenter of “Géopolitis”, I’m particularly interested in projects linked to humanitarian crises.”
Ambassador for health since 2016
“I was delighted to be invited to serve as an ambassador for health for Terre des hommes. Sadly, growing up in good health is still a privilege.
During my year as Miss Switzerland, I got to know Terre des hommes projects in Morocco. I accompanied children suffering from cardiac insufficiency, stayed with them during their cardiac operation and visited them at Maison de Massongex, the Tdh home where they convalesce in Switzerland.
In 2016, I set off with Tdh to India. There I visited an installation that filters stagnant water to make it drinkable for schoolchildren and neighbouring communities. You can actually see the difference with the naked eye! A great number of diseases that are transmitted by contaminated water can be avoided in this way. This proves once again that often just a few resources can make an enormous difference to children.”
Ambassador since 2008
“I’m supporting Terre des hommes as I know just how important it is to fight for the cause of children. In my home country Moldova, many children don’t go to school – they have to work in the fields, or are victims of trafficking. Terre des hommes offers these children new prospects; I’ve seen this clearly while visiting the projects in Moldova. Tdh brings real help to families living in poverty. The children can go to a centre and join in the activities. They also get something to eat there – often their only meal of the day. Tdh is carrying out truly essential work, which does so much to help the most deprived. Please join us in helping children towards a better life!”
Ambassador since 2010
“How can I increase my good fortune? By sharing it!
For over 15 years now, I’ve worked with the Tdh volunteer group from Sarganserland, Werdenberg and Liechtenstein to organise charity performances. I give half of the proceeds from my shows to Terre des hommes. During my visit to Kosovo with Tdh, I met children from disadvantaged communities benefitting from the NGO’s protection projects. I performed my magic tricks at a school there, and although I couldn’t speak their language, I astonished the children and made them laugh. Imagine how your commitment can permanently improve children’s prospects and living conditions! Your generosity can save children!”
Ambassador for children’s rights since 2006
“I’m actively supporting the work of Terre des hommes to help save children’s lives and make a long-term improvement to those of their families.
Just one small drop in the ocean…. can it make any difference? Having seen the work that Terre des hommes undertakes for Palestinian children, my answer is a resounding yes. For this drop of water is the salt of life. In a region where some are erecting walls, Tdh is building bridges with conviction; and that indeed makes all the difference.
As an ambassador, I’ve also had the opportunity to help children in Switzerland become aware of the rights of children. With my wife, Mary Clapasson, I’ve made two films for Terre des hommes: “Stolen childhood” in Burkina Faso (2012) and “Namaste, Hello Nepal” (2009). We showed the second film to schoolchildren during a conference cycle conducted with the philosopher and writer Alexandre Jollien.”
Ambassador since 2015
“When confronted by current affairs every day, it’s impossible not to be affected by images of children who are victims of conflicts, of violence, of maltreatment and poverty. Turning a blind eye won’t solve anything. That’s why I’m serving as an ambassador for Terre des hommes.
I had the opportunity to see the work of Tdh on a mission in Kosovo; it convinced me of the importance of supporting disadvantaged children the world over. It takes only a little practical help to change a situation radically. I remember an encounter with a farmer living on a main road with his family; a loan helped him to escape this existence and give his children a new life, safe from the danger of trafficking. He bought a cow with the money he borrowed, then sold its milk, bought a tractor, and ultimately was able to repay the loan.”
Video about Jonas Schneiter’s commitment
The volunteers represent an essential part of our work and who we are. They support our fundraising efforts and contribute to informing the public about child rights. Their help in improving the lives of thousands of children around the world is invaluable.
"My contribution is a drop in an ocean of distress, but I know that that drop changes the lives of many children in need. I joined Terre des hommes to fight for more justice and dignity for those children, who are so vulnerable and yet exploited so mercilessly. It is a righteous cause and I encourage you to join it with conviction, responsibility and compassion.
At Terre des hommes, each child we help has a face, a name, a history and a family. They are not just a piece of paper in a pile. Our work is a commitment, based on respect, from one human being to another. I have seen this for myself on visits to Bangladesh and India."
“In October 2016 I took part in a Terre des hommes volunteer trip to Albania. I wanted to get an impression of how and where donations generated in Switzerland are used and what impact they have.
What shocked me is the fact that in a country so close to us geographically – which is an EU candidate – things like child labour and human trafficking are part of everyday life. At the same time I was amazed that once there these things were barely given a second glance. Everything appeared to us to be quite normal.
We could have a look at concrete projects of Terre des hommes: It touched me to hear about the life stories of the beneficiary families and to witness the engagement with which the local Tdh-workers do their job. The conversations with different people gave me the opportunity to experience the country and its culture at first hand.
These annual volunteer trips provide a unique opportunity to observe the world from a different perspective. They also enable participants to get to know lots of interesting people – both people from the project country as well as fellow travellers. This trip gave me a huge boost of motivation and strengthened how I relate to Terre des hommes. I would recommend this kind of trip to everyone!”
"I value my lifestyle here, but I do this in the knowledge that not everybody everywhere is so lucky. Our standard of living gives us the possibility not only of considering our own needs but also of doing something for others less well placed.
I do not want simply to close my eyes. I know that Terre des hommes has a lot of experience, and has completed useful and enduring projects and campaigns. It is more effective for the individual to help as part of an organisation than to make solo attempts."
"I give a small amount of my time to contribute to an enormous collective task: helping children in need and their families and entourage. I usually do one or two hours a week, it varies. Maybe a hundred hours a year. It's a little and a lot at the same time. It's not a huge effort for me, but for Tdh, it’s vital.
The Tdh volunteer network also creates friendships that are formed out of a common desire to take action. The nicest moments are those spent in the street, meeting the residents of our cities and towns, and taking part in preparation evenings. There is a great atmosphere even when there's a lot to be done, and it's satisfying to see our work lead to real actions. Being able to see the result, that's what motivates me. So thank you to all the young (and not so young!) volunteers who continue to join us to make all the 'we shoulds' a reality, instead of putting the haunting images they see in the media to the back of their minds."
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