Edmond Kaiser trained as an office worker, and visited Germany in 1932-1933 to learn the language. Following his return to France, he was sent to the front (1940). As a Resistance fighter (1943-1945), he was accused of treason during the Occupation and imprisoned for a month before being acquitted in 1947.
The accidental death of his two-year-old son in 1941, his experience of injustice, and his devotion to wounded innocence drove him to take action. He moved to Lausanne in 1948 and founded the association of friends and then the companions of Emmaus in Lausanne in 1957-58, before founding Terre des hommes in 1960. In 1980, he set up Sentinelles, a foundation designed to take care of people in dire circumstances.
SENTINELLES’ GUIDING PRINCIPLE
A sense of the sacred, a sense of urgency, the search for and location of people who have been left to fend for themselves.
Providing them with assistance and individual support, one person at a time, from their immediate emergency to life in the long term, and the vigilant fight against whatever is grinding them down.
EDMOND KAISER'S VISION
To rescue children who are hungry, disabled or sick, who have been tortured, held captive, enslaved, or rejected.
To save both girls and boys from infanticide, to rescue young women who have been persecuted, rejected, or who are victims of sexual mutilation and forced early marriage, to help neglected elderly people.
While some of the programmes launched under Edmond Kaiser’s leadership have been completed, many are still ongoing.
- Mémorial d’une poupée – 1951, Lange prize of the Academy in 1952
- La marche aux enfants – 1979, P.-M. Favre
- Interviews with Edmond Kaiser, Founder of Terre des hommes, co-founder of Sentinelles – 2000, Christophe Gallaz and Edmond Kaiser, Éditions Favre
- La Grâce du Monde – 2015, Éditions de l’Aire