The French wording »terre des hommes« means »Earth of Humanity«. How humanitarian a society is, shows in the way it treats its children. Because children suffer most from war, hunger and poverty.
terre des hommes is an international development policy based children’s aid organisation. The foundation of the German division of terre des hommes in 1967 was closely linked to the terrible news from the Vietnam War. A group of dedicated people no longer wanted to simply stand on the sidelines and watch the children bear the misery and distress of this war. The first relief programme of the newly founded association terre des hommes was the organisation of emergency flights for injured children from Vietnam, who were then treated in Germany in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics.
Today, terre des hommes has a voluntary workforce in 146 locations. terre des hommes supports about 400 projects for children in need in 31 project countries. Native partner organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin America that help children in need are supported and the self-initiative of the people strengthened.
terre des hommes helps street children, abandoned and working children, looks after children that have become victims of war and violence and ensures their education. terre des hommes supports boys and girls whose families have died of AIDS, supports the cause of maintaining biological and cultural diversity and of protecting the rights of discriminated population groups
The terre des hommes staff in the coordination offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America accompanies the projects in the respective regions and is involved in close dialogue with local partner organisations. This ensures that the project work can flexibly react to regional requirements and new development. The partner organisations explicitly encourage the participation of children and adolescents in the formulation of the project aims and support their campaigns and activities for the exertion of their rights.
In Germany, terre des hommes is active in politics as attorney for children’s rights. terre des hommes is independent of governments, economy, religious communities and political parties and takes up a clear but critical stand when political decisions, economic interests or the behaviour of individuals are directed against children and their rights.
»After more than 40 years, we can look back on successes that encourage us to go on«, chairwoman Ursula Pattberg draws a balance. »But there are still so many children suffering from poverty and violence, working in conditions detrimental to their health and who have no chance of school education. This is the reason why our work must continue.«