Switzerland to provide holidays for children from war zones

Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, receives a gift from a Bosnian child during a visit to parliament in Berne Keystone

A special foundation has been set up to provide holidays in Switzerland for children from war zones. The scheme was conceived by the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, who is currently playing host to 103 children from the Balkans.

This content was published on August 17, 2000 - 13:37

The government announced the creation of "Swiss Cor" on Thursday, to coincide with a visit to parliament by a group of children from Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are spending two weeks in Switzerland at the invitation of the president.

The foundation has been set up to arrange holidays every year for children caught up in conflicts. The intention is to find host families around the country who are prepared to "sponsor" the children.

It is privately-funded, and was set up with donations totalling SFr200,000 from two foundations and the Swiss bank, UBS. A third group has agreed to put up an equivalent amount to help get the scheme off the ground.

President Ogi, who is patron of the new foundation, said the idea behind the scheme was to do something positive to mark the new century.

Switzerland ran a similar holiday scheme for children in the aftermath of the Second World War.

swissinfo with agencies

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