REHASWiSS was foundet in 1977 by Joseph Aerthott, together with some Swiss friends, as an association. He grew up in India, Kerala, studied psychology in Switzerland and then worked for a long time for the Swiss disability insurance. This experience led to the idea of founding an association with the aim of supporting people with disabilities in developing countries, especially on the Indian subcontinent. Because in India there are no social services and disabled people live on the margins of society.

Joseph Aerthott lives with his wife in India for six months of the year and maintains contact with the local partner organisations. He regularly visits the people who have received contributions from REHASWiSS, thus ensuring that the aid arrives directly.

REHASWiSS is registered as an association in Switzerland. The purpose and structures of the organisation are regulated in the organisation's statutes.

Since 1989, REHASWiSS has been recognised as a non-profit organisation by ZEWO (Zentralstelle für Wohlfahrtsunternehmungen) and is entitled to bear the ZEWO mark. REHASWiSS is politically and denominationally neutral.