How we work

How we work

Small local partner organisations are the centre of our work abroad. They ensure that the local population is involved in processes and that changes are sustainable. The target group of the project work is young people, a group that has been forgotten for too long in development cooperation.
A man and a youth kneel on the ground and fill soil into a plastic bag.
The partner organisation Sabia tries to counteract the rural exodus of young people by providing agricultural know-how.

terre des hommes switzerland works with local partners in the project countries. We support small, well-established organizations. In six countries we have national coordinators, who are partly supported by specialists in accounting. The coordinators are in close contact with the partner organizations due to their geographical proximity. The people who work for us abroad are exclusively local staff.

Learning from good examples

For our partner organisations, we are not only a donor, but also support professional and institutional development and strengthening (capacity building). Regular discussions about strengths, weaknesses, problems and solutions are part of the cooperation. The exchange between the partner organisations is also important, and we encourage it. The organisations report on their experiences and exchange knowledge on joint platforms initiated by us. Because what is successful in one place could also work in another.

Change through participation

We are convinced that in order to achieve sustainable change, the needs of those directly affected must be included and civil society in general strengthened. This is the only way to ensure that positive developments are truly anchored in the population and last. Our commitment is always long-term. However, we also withdraw from projects when the work no longer matches the issues on which our competencies lie or when we are no longer convinced of the quality.

Why young people in the centre?

Although our actual target group is young people, we always involve the whole community. Why young people? While much has been done for children in the last 20 years, young people are a forgotten group in development cooperation. Young people are the decision-makers of tomorrow and have great potential, which is often under-utilised and under-promoted. We are convinced that sustainable development depends crucially on them.

The quality of our work and that of our partners is important to us. We ensure this with a range of instruments.

terre des hommes schweiz sets high standards for the correct treatment of children and young people. To this end, employees and partner organisations have signed the Code of Conduct (see below), to which we adhere. In the event of misconduct, please send an e-mail to ethics@terredeshommes.ch.

Code of Conduct for employees (PDF)

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment

Have you observed any serious misconduct in the work context of "terre des hommes schweiz"?
Please contact our independent ombudspersons here!

Elisabeth Burger Bell

Dieter von Blarer
Lic.iur. Lawyer

Together with eight other Swiss NGOs, terre des hommes switzerland has committed itself to responsible communication. With our public appearance, we would like, among other things, to uphold the dignity of people in the Global South and contribute to a positive image of development work in Switzerland.

Manifesto for responsible communication of international cooperation (PDF).

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