The first camps organized by Swiss businessman Jean André, were for children from Christian families in the 1930’s. The economic crisis during this time, followed by World War II, left many destitute children alone and living on the streets of Germany. Unable to turn a blind eye to their misery, Jean André bought two large houses in Ballaigues and Lignerolle, in order to bring these children to Switzerland for physical and spiritual healing. In 1948, the first group of 120 German children were brought to Switzerland. As these children learned about God’s love and care for them, they were given hope to carry on. Soon children from Austria, France, England, Italy, Greece, and Poland were included in this soul refreshing ministry. In addition to Grain of Wheat International, a Swiss foundation called Grain de Blé Suisse organizes French speaking camps in Switzerland. Jean André’s vision to reach children with the Gospel now reaches 21 countries on 4 continents.
From the beginning, GWI’s goal has been to restore children, not only physically, morally and intellectually, but most importantly, spiritually. The Grain of Wheat Foundation uses a holistic approach to care for the well-being of children through sharing the values of the Christian faith and the unconditional love of God.
Today, GWI reaches thousands of children and hundreds of volunteers are equipped and built up through our quality training seminars.