HEKS/EPER reinforces and promotes civil society communities and peaceful coexistence among them, supports access for them to land and natural resources and helps them build up sustainable agricultural production and corresponding markets. HEKS/EPER also strives to ensure that rural communities and their members have equal rights and secure livelihoods.
Peace and stability are prerequisites for development and prosperity. HEKS/EPER peace work begins in everyday life. If conflicting parties can be shown common values, interests and prospects, the result will be better mutual understanding, recognition, respect and cohesion. HEKS/EPER empowers individuals and groups that are committed to peaceful coexistence, through youth camps, peace networks, advocacy, media work and exchange programmes.
Security and rights
Economic and social development is sustainable only when people are able to participate freely and actively. Civil and human rights are under pressure in many places, however. The room for manoeuvre of many people is being drastically curtailed. People who stand up for their rights and those of others are excluded and risk losing their lives. HEKS/EPER therefore empowers, networks and protects people and grassroots organisations that defend co-determination and rights through non-violent means. HEKS/EPER helps local people better understand their rights and facilitates dialogue between citizens, government and the business sector at the local, national and international levels.
A properly functioning State is transparent and accountable: It ensures legal certainty, peace, human rights and co-determination; and it creates economic and social conditions that ensure the well-being of citizens. HEKS/EPER and its partner organizations strive to ensure that civil society is involved in economic and political processes – more specifically also minorities and other communities on the fringes of society. For inclusive governance fosters stability and sustainability.
Women make up 70 per cent of those affected by poverty worldwide. Women also suffer more from discrimination and violence in everyday life. They are also more frequently victims of wars and natural disasters. Women are also less entitled to have a say and have less access to land, loans, education and healthcare. Yet women are the bedrock of the family, society and economy. They work in households, in agriculture or in small businesses, often without pay. HEKS/EPER works purposely with men and women in its projects in order to compensate for these injustices. In this endeavour, it is also vital to raise questions about male role models.