Short profile of the FYSA

Nearly 760,000 Swiss citizens are currently living in another country, either temporarily or for a longer period. The number of Swiss citizens living abroad has risen consistently over the past 10 years, although it is certainly not a new phenomenon. The holiday camps run by the Foundation for Young Swiss Abroad (FYSA) have a long history.


The Foundation was created in 1917 in order to allow Swiss children living in disaster-torn areas abroad to spend a couple of weeks relaxing with host families in a tranquil setting. The first holiday camps were organised in the 1960s, when the Foundation was still known as Swiss Aid. We changed to the current name in 1979. The registered charity is still popular today. At our holiday camps, the whole world comes together under one roof for a brief time.

The Foundation for Young Swiss Abroad

  • is a registered Swiss charity that offers Swiss children living abroad the opportunity to have a holiday in their home country, irrespective of their financial circumstances, thereby creating strong links with Switzerland.
  • is an organisation that brings together Swiss children from all seven continents, allowing them to form new friendships and ties.The organisation promotes mutual understanding and support that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.
  • provides help for Swiss children living in areas affected by natural disasters and conflict

Organisational structure

Cantonal committees: The Foundation is made up of several cantonal committees. The committees organise annual fundraising events: these are our primary source of funding. The cantonal committees are constantly on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering to help Swiss children living abroad, please get in touch with the administrative office. We will be glad to get you in touch with members of the actual committees:

  • Aargau/ Solothurn: Simone Riner (president), Stephan Heimgartner (treasurer), Yvonne Feri (patronate)
  • Berne: Thüring von Erlach (president), David von Steiger (administrative office)
  • Geneva: Claude Howald (president), Françoise Naz (administrative office), François Koessler (treasurer)
  • Graubünden: Martin Candinas (president), Silvio Zala (treasurer)
  • Schaffhausen: Hansueli Birchmeier (president and treasurer)
  • Schwyz: Simon Küchler (president), Hedy Jager-Stählin (treasurer)
  • Waadt: Dr. Philippe Vuillemin (president), Laurence Etienne (treasurer), Laurence Vuillemin (member), Nicolas Tripet (member)
  • Zug: Stephan Schleiss (president), Daniel Eichenberger (treasurer and administrative office)
  • Zurich: Dr. Monique Zerobin (president), Albert Stehli (treasurer)

Foundation Board: The Foundation Board has eight members who meet five times a year. One Foundation Board meeting each year is open to the public.

Foundation Board Members:

back, from left to right: Marco Krebs, Michael Baumgartner, Philippe Vuillemin (president), Francine Asmis, Robert Reich

front, from left to right: Monique Zerobin, Simone Riner, Catherine Bolens

Administrative office

The administrative office organises and manages the summer camps. We have three dedicated and experienced staff (2 FTEs) who do everything from contacting parents and recruiting camp leaders and camp staff to keeping the accounts and organising supplies.