FSD was founded in 1997 as “Fédération suisse de déminage", later transformed to “Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD)". Two of the co-founders are still active: Former President Henri Leu is still a member of the foundation board, while Hansjörg Eberle continues managing the organisation as Director. The current President is Jürg Streuli.
FSD teams started constructing and maintaining camps intended for the long-term deployment of peace forces in the Central African Republic mandated by the European Commission.
FSD started to deploy its first female demining teams In Iraq. FSD also published its first consolidated accounts including the Association FSD France.
FSD restarted its mine action programme in Iraq with support by the US Department of State. In the Central African Republic, FSD initiates a security sector reform project, rehabilitated FACA camps and conducted numerous risk education seminars.
FSD started a new mine action programme in Ukraine with support by the Canadian government. FSD also launched its first security sector programme in the Central African Republic. FSD also got its first ISO 9001 certification.
FSD started an assessment of the Mali Army’s capability in Physical Security and Stockpile Management and delivered trainings for both ammunition handlers and also ammunition depot managers.
FSD started a new programme in support of the Armenian mine action authorities. The same year, FSD’s large scale Sri Lanka operation involving at some stage more then one thousand deminers ended.
FSD started assessing legacy extractive mines in Kyrgyzstan and deployed its first teams for mine action to war-stricken Libya as well as to the newly founded South Sudan.
FSD’s acquired first experience with deploying imagery drones. In Tajikistan, FSD started environmental projects covering radioactive remediation of former Uranium production sites. In Myanmar, FSD started building infrastructure for internally displaced persons.
FSD’s commercial subsidiary Crosstech SA was mandated to he change of potentially dangerous batteries of numerous telecoms towers in Malaysia with a team of about 40 Filipino and international experts.
Start of FSD’s involvement in mine action in Angola. FSD was tasked by the Angolan government to assess the demining capabilities country-wide with a team of international experts.
FSD initiated a programme to develop the capabilities of the Mozambican Mine Action authorities. The same year, FSD’s support office in Manila was created to provide accounting, procurement and administrative functions for FSD world-wide.
FSD deminers in Sri Lanka ceased demining operations for several months to focus on helping survivors of the Tsunami. The same year FSD created the Association franco-suisse de déminage in France and started the FSD Risk Fund.
FSD was among the first NGOs in french-speaking Switzerland to acquire a ZEWO certification attesting FSD’s worthiness of receiving donations from the Swiss public. Mine action operations started in Burundi and in Laos.
FSD deployed a mine action support operation dedicated to the support of the World Food Programme in Iraq. This operation ended with the bombing of WFP in Bagdad. FSD also started its mine action programme in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Start of FSD’s large scale mine action operations in Sri Lanka, and first signature of an agreement with the Government of Tajikistan followed by the deployment of FSD demining teams.
FSD signed standby agreement with the World Food Programme and deployed mine action expert teams to various locations in Afghanistan in support of WFP. Start of the FSD demining programme in Lebanon.
FSD started deploying its first risk-education and assessment teams to Pakistan. Start of FSD’s first large demining programme to clear the Albanian border towards Kosovo with Swiss funding.
Deployment of mine risk education teams in support of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kosovo.
Start of the first mine action project in Bosnia-Herzegovina to clear part of the Olympic village of Dobrinja from landmines. Also started efforts to clear landmines near a school in Croatia.
Michel Diot made an initial appeal on Swiss radio to train Kosovar refugees as deminers before sending them back to their country suffering from the massive presence of landmines. This led to the creation of the “Fédération Suisse de déminage” with Michel Diot, Henri Leu and Hansjörg as co-founders.
“I was playing outside with some friends when one of them picked up a piece of metal lying on the floor. Suddenly there was an explosion. We all fell to the ground. I felt like I had been hit in the back. ” Sanita, 11 years old.
Like Sanita, many children walk in areas contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance on a daily basis. Since 1997, FSD has worked tirelessly to locate and eliminate these dangerous legacies of war around the world, and to prevent accidents through awareness campaigns. FSD also remediates sites polluted by toxic waste, and supports peace and development in conflict-affected countries.
Together, we can act. Every donation, no matter how small, helps shape a safer future for those who have already suffered so much.