The Friendly Associations

This association was born on April 21, 2017 from two women from Fribourg who are strongly linked to Edmond Kaiser, his work and his collaborators.

For Anita Chobaz, this link was created already in 1984, when Edmond Kaiser, founder of Sentinelles, sought to make known the distress of small coal miners in Colombia. She created a friendship to support this Colombian program which lasted until 2016.

Anne-Marie Pillonnel collaborated from 2001 to 2008 in the implementation and monitoring of the relief program for girls victims of sexual mutilation in Kenya. She also participated in the relief program for women suffering from obstetric fistulas in Burkina Faso.

Over the years, we have followed Sentinelles’ many humble but enduring actions around the world.

“After the death of the founder, we were happy to see that the spirit of Edmond Kaiser is still alive and well among the crew of Sentinelles’ courageous and stubborn ship.
Our esteem and enthusiasm remain intact after all these years, we wish to make known to the public of Fribourg all the legitimacy of the Sentinelles’ fraternity so faithful to the smallest of our planet.” Anita and Anne-Marie.

To join Sentinelles Fribourg
Cantonal Bank of Fribourg
BCF 17-49-3 IBAN CH56 0076 8300 1446 6640 7
Annual membership fee CHF 30.-


Created in 2015, the purpose and mission of the association Les amis de Sentinelles (LADS) is to strengthen the commitments of the Sentinelles Foundation to the rescue of murdered innocence, in particular by finding both the human and financial resources necessary for its actions.

Since the creation of Sentinelles in 1980, the founding members of the Friends of Sentinelles Association have made major commitments to the design and development of programs, particularly in the field of health. The Sentinelles Foundation has been able to count on their expertise and investment in the fight against noma.

This commitment, the first link between Edmond Kaiser and Prof. Denys Montandon, President of the Friends of Sentinelles, has been consolidated over the years, both for the medical follow-up of noma patients and for research. It has also enabled the development of a close and lasting collaboration with the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) where children and young adults who cannot be operated on in their own country are taken care of by Prof. Brigitte Pittet-Cuénod, and later by Prof. Kalbermatten and his team.

Later, the deployment of advocacy actions under the impetus of Jean Ziegler, at the origin of the friends of Sentinelles, made public opinion and international institutions aware of the existence of this still unknown disease.

To know the projects supported by the association, click here.

You can download the status of the association here.


GESNOMA (Geneva Study Group on Noma) is a scientific association founded by Prof. Denys Montandon, bringing together several doctors and scientists from the University of Geneva, responsible for research on noma disease.

The main objective of this research is to understand the mechanisms and causes of noma in order to find an adequate treatment and to improve prevention strategies.

GESNOMA has published several scientific articles in different prestigious medical journals, such as “Lancet Infectious Diseases”, “Lancet Global Health” and “PLoS Neglected Diseases”.

The GESNOMA research project is ongoing in Niger, thanks to the collaboration with the Sentinelles Foundation and the participation of local health workers.



Professor Denys Montandon
Denys Montandon is a physician, specialist in general surgery and in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, former Professor and Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG).

Author of several books and numerous works related to his specialty, he currently devotes himself to the history and challenges of his profession by publishing essays and articles adapted to a wide audience.

He is also the president of the association “Les amis de Sentinelles”.


The Association d’entraide des mutilés du visage (AEMV) was founded in 1979 by Prof. Denys Montandon and Fernand Pittet, in order to help people disfigured by a congenital malformation, an accident, a tumor or a disease. Although mainly focused on surgical reconstruction, the AEMV, since its foundation, has endeavored to put all the means at its disposal to help the patients concerned to overcome their handicap.