Our understanding of meaningful development cooperation
terre des hommes schweiz faces up to this global responsibility and therefore supports both local initiatives in the global South and development policy concerns in Switzerland. In a globalised world, the central causes of poverty and violence are closely linked to our actions here. terre des hommes schweiz stands for sustainable development based on partnership and responsibility.
Development cooperation covers many different approaches. For terre des hommes switzerland, human rights approaches and participatory cooperation with local civil society are central. The key point is partnership-based cooperation with local organisations in the programme countries. In contrast to other organisations, terre des hommes schweiz does not export aid supplies or ready-made solutions, but promotes local structures and initiatives on the ground with the aim of a long-term and sustainable partnership.
Develop your own solutions
The partner organisations supported are not mere recipients of aid, but competent actors who develop their own solutions in the fight for better living conditions and stand up for their rights. They provide disadvantaged young people with the tools they need to shape development through their own efforts. Helping people to help themselves is terre des hommes schweiz's contribution to sustainable social change.
Broad impact through networking
But supporting projects is not a panacea. Given the broad social and economic challenges in the programme countries, actual project support has a limited scope. For this reason, the coordination offices in the countries support networking and exchange between the partner organisations. The aim is to promote them as active players in society. Strong grassroots organisations exert political influence in their countries. Networked with others, they exercise a "watchdog" role as critical counterparts of politics and advocate for the rights and concerns of disadvantaged groups. In this way they achieve a broad impact.
What does that have to do with us here in Switzerland?
Poverty and violence do not fall from the sky. They have their causes in global relations of exploitation and power. The economic and social situation of developing countries is largely shaped by the international environment. Lifestyle, consumer behaviour and political decisions in the North have a direct impact on the countries of the global South. Together with other NGOs, terre des hommes schweiz works in Switzerland to ensure that decisions made in this country do not further impede the development of poorer countries. This commitment should ensure that the objectives of development policy and other interests of Swiss foreign and economic policy are better coordinated.
Important public relations work in Switzerland
terre des hommes schweiz has been highlighting grievances through campaigns, in cooperation with other Swiss organisations and with the Alliance Sud development policy network. By revealing global connections, it becomes clear how citizens, political and economic decision-makers can make a concrete contribution to a fairer world. terre des hommes schweiz makes the reasons for poverty and inequality in the world visible through its own public relations work. It provides information about forgotten conflicts, suppressed interests and hidden dependencies.