A Timeline of Our History

1966/67 About 40 women and men meet in Stuttgart at the initiative of the typesetter Lutz Beisel. They organise relief flights and medical treatment for war wounded children from Vietnam. They call their project terre des hommes – earth of humanity – from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. On January  8th, 1967 terre des hommes Germany is registered as a charity.

 1968      terre des hommes Germany works for the victims of the war between Nigeria and the separatists in Biafra. It begins to bring Vietnamese orphans to Germany for adoption.

1971       terre des hommes opens the German centre for the rehabilitation of child victims of the Vietnam war. Aid programmes in Bolivia and Colombia begin. At the beginning of the 70s there are heated arguments about liberation struggles in the Third World and the supposed opposition between political struggle and direct assistance. terre des hommes declares: »Instead of ideological either-or arguments we advocate a pragmatic policy of both-and…

1973      The intercultural childcare centre in Wiesbaden is founded, the first of several terre des hommes projects in Germany for the benefit of children from refugee and migrant families.

1982      terre des hommes supports projects in 26 countries. However, its statutes stipulate that the underlying causes of poverty and oppression be explored.

1990      terre des hommes starts campaigning against child labour in the Indian carpet industry in co-operation with the church agencies Brot für die Welt and Misereor. Five years later the Rugmark label is introduced to mark carpets made without child labour.

1994      terre des hommes General Assembly decides no longer to arrange adoptions abroad. Abandoned children should be helped in the context of local projects. Yet the 3,000 children adopted by German families are still followed up – they mostly come from Vietnam, Korea, India, Colombia, and the Philippines.

1999      Foundation of the non-independent terre des hommes Foundation.

2003      First delegates’ conference: terre des hommes implements the participation of partner organisations in essential decisions.

2005      terre des hommes starts a comprehensive emergency and reconstruction programme for the tsunami victims in South Asia.

2008      Foundation of the Alliance for street children in Germany on initiative of terre des hommes.

2010      In the light oft he financial and economical crisis terre des hommes propagates the necessity of a protective shield for children, not only for banks.

2011      terre des hommes takes up the topic ecological child rights.