65 years of solidarity

  • 16.09.2011
  • News

Since 65 years the people of Switzerland show their solidarity for the victims of disasters in Switzerland and abroad. It all started on 26 September 1946 when the radio game «Chaîne du Bonheur» was broadcasted and it developed over the years to an efficient organisation for collecting donations in the event of catastrophes and crises.

The programme – and the calls for donations – was also taken up by the SRG public media in the other linguistic parts of Switzerland. In 1983 Swiss Solidarity finally became an independent foundation, which calls for donations with the support of the SRG media. Every time a campaign is launched, Swiss Solidarity triggers a true movement of solidarity amongst the people of Switzerland.

1.5 billion francs in donations since 1946
Since 1946 Swiss Solidarity has raised around 1.5 billion Swiss francs from 284 campaigns and 34 national fundraising days, supported by the national and private medias. The collected funds are used for humanitarian aid projects. 25% of donations are used for help within Switzerland (social aid, children relief, natural disasters); 6% for children relief abroad (nutrition, medical care, education and help for children in war and conflicts) and 69% for helping the victims of disasters abroad.

At present Swiss Solidarity is financing some 247 projects in 47 countries to a total of 167 million Swiss francs. The projects, which help victims to return to a normal life are carried out by 31 partner organisations. Around 15% of donations are used for emergency relief, 70% for longer-term and sustainable rebuilding projects and 15% for consolidation of the work.

Vidéo de l'émission avec Jack Rollan » (©RTS)

65 years of solidarity »

Swiss Solidarity is a foundation, started as an initiative of the Swiss public media SRG SSR | Partnership & collaboration

  • Keystone
  • Swisscom
  • SRG SSR alt




One picture often says more than a thousand words. Thanks to the partnership with the internationally operating Swiss picture agency Keystone, Swiss Solidarity has free and rapid access to recent pictures at any time. 

The Keystone picture agency takes a Swiss view of our country and the world. A team of 20 full-time photographers throughout Switzerland as well as international partner agencies ensure that no current event is missed. As the largest picture agency in Switzerland, Keystone has an almost unending store of material on Swiss social history (around 11 million archive images).




A national fundraising day is unthinkable without the means of Swisscom: In six regional fundraising centers, provided by Swisscom as well, between 120 and 150 phone lines are in use. This meant that, at the Tsunami’s fundraising day, over 70’000 calls were managed. On fundraising days, this service is free of charge.

The internet as a means of communication is vital for Swiss Solidarity, too. Therefore, Swisscom supports Swiss Solidarity’s web presence year after year with a considerable contribution. Swisscom (formerly PTT) has been an abiding partner for Swiss Solidarity for over sixty years.



Swiss Solidarity originated in 1946 from a radio show in western Switzerland – the first fundraising campaign was for the benefit of the orphans of World War II. The idea became more and more successful, and in 1983, Swiss Solidarity was granted the status of a foundation initiated by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG. Today, Swiss Solidarity is a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief projects and works with the SRG SSR.

On national solidarity and fundraising days, Swiss Solidarity demonstrates just what is meant by «idée suisse»: The solidarity and support of Switzerland’s entire population. This is only possible because the SRG SSR idée suisse supports Swiss Solidarity with its free broadcastings. Swiss Solidarity itself is – with a few exceptions – not a relief organization, but rather a solidarity network, cooperating with 25 relief organizations.

Additionally, the company’s entities SRF, RTS, RTR, RSI are all represented in the foundation board.