Kinderdorf Pestalozzi

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Kinderdorf Pestalozzi
Named after Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Formation 1945
Type Non-profit organization to provide the Kinderdorf village for war-affected children
Legal status active
Headquarters Trogen, Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland
  • Kinderdorfstrasse 20, CH-9043 Trogen
Region served

Kinderdorf Pestalozzi, literally Pestalozzi Children’s Village, was named after the Swiss education pioneer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Established in 1945, Stiftung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi provides the Kinderdorf village for war-affected children from all over the world.

History and objectives

In August 1944 Walter Robert Corti, Marie Meienhofer and other enthusiasts launched in the monthly magazine "Du" to call for the foundation of a village for war-affected children. The association Vereinigung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi was founded in 1945,[1][2] on 28 April 1946 the foundation stone was laid in the municipality of Trogen in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.[3] The locals were very positive about the project. With the assistance of voluntary helpers from all over Europe, 15 houses were built that served war orphans from the surrounding countries as a refuge.[2] In the same year children from war-torn countries settled the first houses.[4] In 1950 the association was transformed into a foundation. From 1960, in addition to European children, war orphans from Tibet lived at the orphanage, later mostly children from Korea, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lebanon, since 1983 also orphans from Switzerland. The length of stay varies from a few weeks (educational or recreational reasons) up to several years. Since 1982 the foundation is also active in countries of the Southern Hemisphere, and since 1990 supervised children's homes in Romania. The fundraising is carried out mainly through fundraisers, sponsorships and legacies: In the 2000s the Foundation has invested CHF 18 million annually into the fields of integration, intercultural exchange and development cooperation. As of 2012, the projects of the foundation benefited 321,000 children and adolescents in Switzerland and abroad.[1]


In 2005 the Trogen village consisted of twelve semi-detached houses for some 120 children and families as well as economy and administrative buildings.[1][5] As of 2015, throughout the year also meet around 1,500 children and young people from Switzerland and abroad for a short time, inter alia with Swiss school classes. Worldwide, the foundation claims to support more than 400,000 children, young people and their teachers, parents and (educational) authorities in approximately 40 projects. The facilities also include a museum.[2]

Kinderdorf in film and television

  • 1953 film Unser Dorf (also Sie fanden eine Heimat, or The Village) by Leopold Lindtberg, Praesens-Film Zürich.


  • Arthur Bill: Helfer unterwegs. Geschichten eines Landschulmeisters, Kinderdorfleiters und Katastrophenhelfers. Stämpfli, Bern 2002, ISBN 3-7272-1323-X
  • Walter Robert Corti, Guido Schmidlin (Hrsg.). Ein Dorf für die leidenden Kinder. Das Kinderdorf Pestalozzi in den Jahren 1949 bis 1972 mit Arthur Bill als Dorfleiter. Verlag Haupt, Bern 2002, ISBN 3-258-06470-9
  • Argyris Sfountouris: Das Kinderdorf Pestalozzi in Trogen und sein griechischer Dichter. Bilder aus der Zeit der ersten 25 Jahre. 16 Gedichte von Nikiforos Vrettakos. Verlag Haupt, Bern 1996, ASIN B004HYWO2C.
  • Walter Robert Corti: Der Weg zum Kinderdorf Pestalozzi. Haupt Verlag, Bern 1955/2002, ISBN 978-3-258-06468-0.


  1. ^ a b c Andrea Weibel (2015-03-26). "Kinderdorf Pestalozzi" (in German). HDS. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  2. ^ a b c "Ein Kinderdorf für die Welt" (in German). Stiftung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  3. ^ "Eine Reise durch Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft" (in German). Stiftung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  4. ^ "Kriegswaisen im Kinderdorf Pestalozzi" (in German). Swiss television SRF, SRF WISSEN, 04.06.1948. 1948-06-04. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  5. ^ "Kontakt" (in German). Stiftung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi. Retrieved 2015-09-22.

External links

  • Official website (in German) (in French) (in Italian)
  • Andrea Weibel: Kinderdorf Pestalozzi in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 26 March 2015.
  • Publications by and about Kinderdorf Pestalozzi in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library

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