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What does Terre des Hommes stand for?

Terre des Hommes is a children's charity founded in 1965 by a group of volunteers.

We prevent children from being exploited, take children away from exploitative situations and ensure that these children can develop in a safe environment. We always work together with local project partners, operating in 20 countries.


What does Terre des Hommes do?

Terre des Hommes stops the exploitation of children worldwide. We prevent children from being exploited, take children away from exploitative situations and ensure that these children can develop in a safe environment. Education plays an important role in achieving these objectives.

Terre des Hommes supports over 200 projects distributed across four continents in seventeen countries which are conceived, designed and implemented by local project partners. In other words: our projects are well adapted to the problems of the locals.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the foundation of our work. We offer help without distinction of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.


What is the position of Terre des Hommes regarding child labour?

Child labour is a term that can be interpreted in various ways. Therefore, different views exist in the public debate on child labour. Some organisations argue that all forms of child labor must be eradicated, while others believe that children have the right to work, provided this is done in good, proper conditions.

Terre des Hommes believes both visions are too radical. A unanimous ban on all types of work by children is not in line with reality, as millions of children worldwide need or want to work. Some forms of work are harmful to the development of a child, others are not. For example, there is a significant difference between a thirteen year old girl in India who spends an hour a day after school helping her mother with milking cows, and an equally old girl who works in a stone bakery for twelve hours a day. The latter is an unacceptable form of child labour because it harms the health and development of the girl.

Terre des Hommes aims at combating these unacceptable forms of child labour that harm the physical, moral and spiritual development of children. As defined by the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Convention 182, these are the worst forms of child labour.

Where does Terre des Hommes work?

Terre des Hommes is working in Europe, Asia and Africa. In these regions we have projects in 26 countries:

  • Europe: The Netherlands, Italy and Ukraine
  • Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
  • Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Syria and Thailand

* Last edited January 2018 

How does Terre des Hommes decide which projects to support?

All projects Terre des Hommes supports meet teh following criteria:

  • The projects focus directly or indirectly on children.
  • The organisation and execution of the project are always in the hands of a local organisation.
  • The project is consistent with the objective of Terre des Hommes: to stop child exploitation.
  • The project takes place in countries Terre des Hommes focuses on.
  • The problem is tackled from several angles, i.e.: our help is not limited to supporting victims of exploitation but is just as well aimed at educating parents in order to prevent exploitation.

How do I change my personal details?

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How do I cancel or change my donation?

What does the droplet in the logo of Terre des Hommes signify?

The teardrop in our logo represents Terre des Hommes’ method of working. The symbolic teardrop derives from a Dutch proverb which describes how a continuously falling droplet of water will hallow out even the hardest rock. This means as much as saying that perseverance overcomes all things. With mostly small-scale projects Terre des Hommes offers simple solutions for real problems. And so Terre de Hommes improves the situation of children in developing countries little by little.

What is the salary of the director of Terre des Hommes?

The gross annual salary of Terre des Hommes’ former general director, Albert Jaap van Santbrink, was EUR 116,751 for a 40-hour week employment in 2016.

Terre des Hommes is an idealistic foundation as well as a professional organisation. Van Santbrink is ultimately responsible for raising and carefully spending more than 21.4 million Euros, oversees 95 employees in the Netherlands and abroad, and collaborates with partner organisations in 25 countries and 2,064 volunteers.

About the Dutch Charity Association’s remuneration scheme

The Dutch Charity Association (Goede Doelen Nederland) has had a remuneration scheme for directors since 2005. This scheme is based on the Good Governance Policy (Code Goed Bestuur) for charities, as drafted by the Wijffels Committee, and takes the size and complexity of the organization into account. Please visit the Dutch Charity Association website for more information about the remuneration scheme. More information about Terre des Hommes’ personnel costs can be found online in the online Annual Report 2017.

How does Terre des Hommes get funding?

Terre des Hommes has various sources of income. Nearly half is obtained through fundraising. This includes our donators and, for example, our shops. In addition, Terre des Hommes receives subsidy from the government. Over the years, approximately one quarter of our income was acquired through government subsidies. The National Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Lotterij) and the Vriendenloterij (a charity lottery in the Netherlands) also contribute greatly to making our projects possible. Terre des Hommes feels that it is important to have various sources of income in order to minimise financial risks.

Can I work or do an internship at one of Terre des Hommes's projects?

No, that is not possible. Terre des Hommes does not send staff to projects. We work with local partner organisations who design, set up, and implement the projects themselves.

How much of every euro goes to help for vulnerable children?

In 2016, 83% of every euro was spent towards reaching our objective. For more information, please see the Terre des Hommes 2016 annual report.


Does Terre des Hommes have permission to use photographs or video material of children?

Respect for children is always our top priority in all instances where photographic material is used for our communication purposes. We maintain a ‘Child Safeguarding Policy’. This means that consent to use the photographic material is given by the child himself or by the parents and/or guardians and the local partner organisation. We never portray victims of commercial sexual exploitation in a way so that they can be recognised.

Does Terre des Hommes bank at fair banks?

Within the scope of responsible financial management, we minimise risks by spreading our funds across different banks. These are all banks with at least an A rating and under supervision of the Nederlandsche Bank. Terre des Hommes operates in unstable areas. We work with ABN AMRO bank to get our funds to our partner organisations as ABN AMRO bank can process these bank transactions at acceptable fees. ABN AMRO is also the Dutch Charity Association’s (Goede Doelen Nederland) preferred supplier. Terre des Hommes has other bank accounts as well, this includes an account at Triodos Bank where donors can deposit their contributions: NL04 TRIO 0391 1901 99.

As a charity we set high standards for our suppliers. Therefore, we take a close look at our banking policy regularly. We realise that not all the banks that we work with score equally well on the Dutch Fair Bank Guide (Eerlijke Banken Wijzer). We are aware of the fact that there is substantial room for improvement for certain banks. The charity sector is actively involved in making financial products more sustainable. Terre des Hommes is collaborating with other charities to inform banks about their responsibility and to work with them to develop socially responsible products and services. It is our responsibility to do so. Turning our backs on the banks would not solve anything.

What is Terre des Hommes’ policy on staff expenses

It is Terre des Hommes’ goal to keep staff, including management, expenses to a minimum. For this reason, travelling via second class public transport and flying economy class are the standard. Expenses made by staff will only be reimbursed if the expenses made are deemed reasonable by the employer (or supervisory board when management is concerned) and sufficiently specified.

Our policy in short:

Travelling: Public transport 2nd class / economy class

Business trips are always planned as time- and cost-efficiently as possible. For domestic travel expenses, reimbursement includes public transportation fees, where 2 nd class travel is the standard, or EUR 0.29 per kilometer when an employee chooses to travel with his/her own car. For air travel, economy class is chosen exclusively.

Accommodation fees and other costs

Whilst on business trips, Terre des Hommes staff stay in simple to middle-class accommodations. The regional offices, that are well-informed about matters of security at destinations, provide advice to this end. Meals while travelling can also be claimed.

Commuter travel reimbursement

Commuter travel reimbursement is based on a scale applicable to all Terre des Hommes staff.


What expense reimbursement does the Terre des Hommes management receive?

It is Terre des Hommes’ goal to keep staff expenses to a minimum. For all Terre des Hommes staff, including management, regulations apply for business travel expenses (where flying economy class is the standard), accommodation expenses (where they stay in simple to middle-class hotels) and commuter traffic. All members of management receive a monthly reimbursement of EUR 260.00 for commuter travel based on a scale applicable to all Terre des Hommes’ staff. In addition, all staff members receive a monthly expense reimbursement of EUR 100.00. Regular assessments are conducted to determine whether the reimbursement amount is in line with the expenses made. Occasionally, expenses are made which exceed the set amount of expense reimbursement. These expenses can be claimed if they are reasonable and sufficiently specified.

What is Terre des Hommes' investment policy?

Terre des Hommes does not invest her means in shares, bonds or other investment products.