English documentation

Switzerland open its heart

A Spirit

The spirit of swisscor has a name: Adolf Ogi, the former federal councillor. In 2000, when he was President of the Swiss Confederation, war raged on Switzerland’s doorsteps. Hate and violence erupted between nations, decimating populations, tearing families apart. Children were stranded without nourishment, care or a future.

At the initiative of Adolf Ogi, and with the agreement of the Federal Council, Switzerland opened its doors to give care and comfort to the youngest victims of war. With the collaboration of the Armed Forces, a hundred children in need came from Bosnia-Herzogovina and Kosovo to live for two weeks in a medicalised summer camp at Melchtal, near Lucerne.

The idea of “Switzerland opens its heart” is born and the swisscor Foundation was created.

Faithful to its humanitarian commitment, swisscor has been offering a heartfelt welcome and medical care for more than a decade now. Every summer, between eighty and a hundred boys and girls aged between nine and fourteen years – together with their carers – are welcomed to Switzerland. They are all children in need; orphans or from a single parent family, living in poverty or institutions – many are handicapped to some degree.

Since 2000, the Foundation has organised eleven medicalised summer camps. swisscor has opened its heart to more than a thousand children, mostly from the south-eastern countries of Europe. All of them have benefited from the spirit of swisscor, receiving much-needed support and medical treatment.


A Heart

Every year, during the two-week medic- alised camp in Switzerland, all the children undergo a complete medical examination and receive basic healthcare to improve their general health and mobility. They also participate in a programme of activities that encourages them to discover each other through intercultural workshops. They play games and sports together and go on excursions to learn about Switzerland.

Medical aid
in accordance with Swiss medical standards is an essential part of swisscor’s summer camps. Healthcare specialists carry out all the treatments they possibly can during the children’s two-week stay.

The range of healthcare on offer is highly diverse and includes: dental care, eye tests and ophthalmological care, medical treatments in the areas of neurology, ortho- paedics, ENT, cardiology and plastic surgery. swisscor also helps to improve the mobility of motor-handicapped children by providing or adapting, prostheses, corsets, wheel chairs and orthopaedic shoes. Glasses and hearing aids complete the inventory.

swisscor is able to open its heart in this way thanks to the voluntary work of many civil and military medical people and to the generous support of specialised companies. In this way, an open heart translates into hope for these children.

A Hope


A Future

swisscor is committed to continue its efforts, giving hope to needy and marginalised children. Its programme is characterised by three words: visibility, sustainability and promotion of peace.

Visibility means that all donors can see during the camp what is done with their offers. For a day, they can visit the summer camp and share the life with the children.

Sustainability means that every child who leaves the summer camp without the benefit of a full recovery is then followed up medically in his or her country of origin. This process is made possible thanks to the collaboration of specialists from service clubs, NGOs and the national Red Cross organisation in the child’s home country.

swisscor’s programme is not simply about healthcare. In the daily life of the camp, the children and their carers are encouraged to develop intercultural exchanges through their shared games and activities. With the support of a team of professionals, everyone learns how to live in friendship, mutual respect and tolerance. swisscor sees this as a unique opportunity to contribute to the promotion of peace in the world.

Every year, the swisscor summer camp children go back home with their health improved and their mobility recovered. Just as important, they have discovered their own value and that of their neighbours. At home and around them they are examples of mutual respect, ambassadors of tolerance, peace-makers. But the hope brought by swisscor has a price – that of generosity.



At swisscor, generosity starts with an organisation consisting almost entirely of volunteers, including all the members of the Patronage Committee and Board of Trustees.

The Patronage Committee is presided over by Adolf Ogi, former President of the Confederation and founder of swisscor. It is made up of personalities from the spheres of humanitarian aid, politics and finance.

The Board of Trustees consists of those responsible for the individual areas of swisscor activity: medical care, camp management, events, finance, communications and interface with the international Red Cross movement. The Board is headed by the President, seconded by a Vice President and accompanied by the Foundation’s General Secretary. swisscor is a swiss foundation, which is recognized as a non profit organization.

Generosity also takes the form of financial support from organisations and the general public. swisscor depends exclusively on such aid because it does not benefit from any subventions.

The vast majority of all donations is dedicated to helping the children.
The transparency of swisscor’s records makes it clear that for every franc given to swisscor, 87 cents goes to the organisation of the medicalised camps, leaving only 13 centimes for general administration.


Fondation swisscor

5, place de Tübingen
CH – 1870 Monthey VS

T. +41 24 471 90 51

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CCP 30 – 614655 - 7 | swisscor | 3000 Berne

Membre de proFonds, Association faîtière des fondations d’utilité publique de Suisse