“Y’a du bonheur pour tout le monde” – “There is happiness for everyone” The story of Swiss Solidarity began in 1946 in Lausanne, with a song, the need to do something about the suffering after the Second World War and a whole lot of personal commitment.
Radio presenter Roger Nordmann and entertainer Jack Rollan began what has become a 70-year success story. On 26 September 1946 they made their first appeal on Radio Sottens (now RTS) in aid of children suffering from the effects of the war.
Soon after, they created their own radio programme, the ‘Chaîne de Bonheur’, or ‘chain of happiness’ – now known in English as Swiss Solidarity. Because whoever was best able to fulfil a wish could propose the next good deed.
At the beginning, Swiss Solidarity primarily collected material donations, and was totally overrun with packages and aid items.
Above all, our founders were radio presenters with generous hearts. Today we are the largest private humanitarian aid donor in Switzerland. For over 30 years we have been an autonomous foundation and the humanitarian arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRG SSR.
Today we collect money rather than material donations. With the money raised we finance aid projects run by our 26 partner NGOs.
Many of the projects are involved in reconstruction after earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Many of the projects are involved in victims of war and conflict, and work to ensure children’s wellbeing.
The original idea of expressing solidarity with the victims of disasters – whether in Switzerland or abroad – is still what motivates us today.
Along with our partner the SRG, over the last 70 years we have launched about 190 appeals on radio and TV for the victims of natural disasters and conflicts. Each time, especially on national fundraising days, the appeals spark an amazing wave of solidarity throughout Switzerland.
Swiss solidarity, for which we stand, is only possible thanks to the generous support of the Swiss public and our strong partnerships with the SRG, Swisscom, private radio stations, the media and, of course, our operational partners, the NGOs.