Willy Begert – Archives of Service Civil International

Willy Begert

Willy Begert (1913-1971), also born in Switzerland, took part in his first SCI workcamp in the Grison mountains in Switzerland at the age of 21. The following year, he participated in the action to support the miners in Wales during a period of chronic unemployment. In 1938, he became Secretary of the Swiss branch of SCI in Zurich. He joined the ‘Neutral Swiss Committee of Aid to Spain’ to help the refugees from the civil war and continued this work in France in 1939-40. With the invasion in France, he went back to

England where he again took care of children who were victims of war. In 1943-44, he took part in the distribution of food and clothing for the Greek refugees as an SCI volunteer. He was the first International Secretary of SCI in 1946, where he was assisted by his wife Dora and the first Secretary of the Co-ordination Committee in 1951. But he preferred the field work and was a volunteer in Algeria with SCI for two years. He later became a UN community development expert in Morocco and in Cameroon.