Press release, 5th January 2022

HEKS/EPER and «Bread for All» embark on the New Year together

The merger of HEKS/EPER and «Bread for All» became legally valid on 22 November 2021 with the inscription of the new foundation in the commercial register. The newly formed organization also launched its operations on 1 January of this year under the name «Swiss Church Aid» (HEKS/EPER).

Planning for the merger began in September 2018 when the Boards of Trustees of both agencies took a decision in principle to merge the two organizations. The merger became legally valid upon inscription in the commercial register on 22 November 2021. On 1 January 2022, the new agency made its operational debut as well, under the name Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER), also with a new visual appearance. The new logo signifies the emergence into a common future, continuity in programme work and in the HEKS/EPER commitment to development and social policy.

With their merger, HEKS/EPER and «Bread for All» are buttressing their position and competitiveness in an ever more competitive environment. At the same time, the effectiveness of projects and activities at home and abroad can be enhanced. In particular, the linking of development policy with programme work at home and abroad creates meaningful synergies.

Verbesserung der Lebenssituation der ländlichen Bevölkerung

Four priority areas

Through its focus on the four priorities of climate justice, access to land and food, flight and migration, and integration/inclusion, HEKS/EPER strives for systemic change – worldwide and in Switzerland.

The Ecumenical Campaign, which HEKS/EPER is continuing to implement jointly with its Catholic sister organization «Fastenaktion» (formerly «Fastenopfer») remains a critical cornerstone of development and social policy work.

Programme and project work in Switzerland and beyond will also continue on the same scale as hitherto. In over 30 countries across four continents, HEKS/EPER supports development cooperation projects to combat poverty and injustice. Other priorities are humanitarian aid for victims of armed conflicts and those of disasters stemming from natural hazards, and the diaconal work of churches in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In Switzerland, advocacy for the rights of refugees and the socially disadvantaged remains one of HEKS/EPER's core concerns.

Head office stays in Zurich

The new organization’s head office is located in Zurich. Moreover, HEKS/EPER continues to be present with six Business Offices in the regions of Aargau/Solothurn, Rural Basel/Basel City, Berne, Eastern Switzerland, Zurich/Schaffhausen and in French-speaking Switzerland. Peter Merz will remain Director of HEKS/EPER, while Bernard DuPasquier, hitherto Managing Director of «Bread for All», will be Deputy-Director and, more specifically, will represent the management in French-speaking Switzerland. The new, twelve-member Board of Trustees comprises representatives of the two former Boards of Trustees of HEKS/EPER and «Bread for All». It will be led by the present HEKS/EPER Board of Trustees Chairperson, Walter Schmid. Deputy-Chairpersons will be Michèle Künzler (hitherto at HEKS/EPER) and Jeanne Pestalozzi, up to now Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of «Bread for All».
Samuel Berner
Head of Media and Information Department
Samuel Berner

Phone: +41 44 360 88 25
Mobile: +41 76 461 88 70