HEKS champions the cause of a more humane and just world and a life in dignity. Internationally, HEKS/EPER focuses on rural community development, humanitarian aid and church cooperation. In Switzerland, HEKS/EPER champions the rights and the integration of refugees and socially disadvantaged people.
Swiss Church Aid
HEKS was founded in 1946 by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC). As the aid organization of the Swiss Protestant Churches, the dignity of every human being is central to the commitment of HEKS/EPER, in accordance with gospel of Christian love. This respect for human dignity also finds expression in the universal human rights. All human beings should be able to lead a life in dignity and in social, economic and political security.
HEKS/EPER makes a difference: figures, facts, reports
The Annual Report offers a comprehensive, multimedia overview of the organization and the project work, campaigns and other activities of the prior year.
Internationally, HEKS/EPER focuses on rural community development, humanitarian aid and inter-church cooperation: HEKS/EPER combats the causes of hunger, poverty and injustice through its focus on access to land, it provides emergency aid following natural disasters and armed conflicts and supports the welfare and social work of the Reformed Churches in Eastern Europe. HEKS/EPER is active in 32 countries with 251 projects around the world. HEKS/EPER runs its own Coordination Offices in 17 primary-focus regions.
In Switzerland, HEKS/EPER advocates for the social inclusion of recognized refugees, temporarily admitted persons and the socially disadvantaged, in a spirit of equal opportunity. HEKS/EPER also assists asylum seekers and other target groups by providing them with legal advice. The five regional offices in Aargau/Solothurn, the two Basels, Berne, Eastern Switzerland and Zurich/Schaffhausen as well as the Secrétariat romand in Lausanne are carrying out 58 programmes altogether.
HEKS/EPER works in accordance with the principle of help for self-help: It gears its support towards the resources and needs of the people concerned and implements projects jointly with them. HEKS/EPER staff are in constant dialogue with beneficiaries, partner organizations, sponsoring institutions, donors and cantonal reformed churches. HEKS/EPER works with local partner organizations abroad. HEKS/EPER employs local staff in its Coordination Offices.
Based on the dignity every human being, the HEKS/EPER core values are: justice, self-determination, solidarity, help without ethnic, social, religious or other barriers, responsibility, participation, closeness to people and effective action. These values should be perceptible in all spheres: in programmes and projects, in fundraising and communication as well as in dealings with employees and partners.
HEKS/EPER pursues its activities in keeping with the requirements of the ZEWO Quality Label and thereby discharging its responsibility towards donors, churches, employees and beneficiaries. The ZEWO seal of approval distinguishes non-profit organizations that utilize donations economically, effectively and for their designated purpose.
Transparency is indispensable to responsible and effective action. HEKS has laid out its principles in this regard in its own Transparency Code. On the one hand, the Code constitutes action guidelines for HEKS/EPER personnel and, on the other, it informs the public about how HEKS/EPER understands transparency. HEKS/EPER reviews compliance with the guidelines in an annual Transparency Report.