The first child welfare stamp was issued in Switzerland in 1913 and became known as the Pro Juventute issues because of their Latin inscription meaning ‘for youth’. The stamp, featuring an image of the Matterhorn and Helvetia (the female national personification of Switzerland), was denominated 5 centimes but was sold for 10 centimes with the premium given to children’s benevolent societies. A set of Pro Juventute stamps has been issued in Switzerland every year since raising funds for children’s welfare including holiday camps, medical equipment and Tuberculosis sanatoria.
The 1938 issue comprised four stamps, the 5c denominated stamp featuring Salomon Gessner, a celebrated Swiss painter, newspaper publisher and poet. The others in the set featured Swiss girls in traditional dress including the 30c denominated stamp with a scene of Aargau, one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation.
Since 1926, Luxembourg has issued charity stamps including child welfare stamps depicting Grand Duchess Charlotte’s five children and grandchildren. Princess Ferial of Egypt first appeared on a child welfare stamp in 1940 when she was 18 months old. And following the theme, Denmark’s Princess Anne-Marie and Princess Margaret were both portrayed as babies on child welfare stamps.
New Zealand is the only British Commonwealth country to issue regular charity stamps in aid of child welfare, issued since 1929 to fund Tuberculosis sanatoria and children’s holiday camps. Jamaica produced a set of three beautiful stamps in denominations of ½d, 1d and 2½d with premiums in aid of the Child Welfare League in November 1923.
To view Child Welfare postal issues, please visit the M&S Philately HipStamp store.