HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church-run social projects (diaconia)» in Serbia
The wars in Bosnia and Kosovo left Serbia internationally isolated and in economic ruin. The social system had collapsed and poverty and unemployment were rife. Even today some ten per cent of the population still live below the poverty line, and one-third barely above it; 20 per cent are unemployed. Minorities are very severely affected by unemployment and lack of access to social services. On the one hand, HEKS/EPER therefore supports the social and economic inclusion of the roughly half million Roma through improved housing and access to education, healthcare, work and incomes. On the other, HEKS/EPER supports the development of a home care service for sick and older people in rural communities.
Further headway was made in 2020 in legalising 4 Roma settlements comprising altogether 150 houses. Some 200 Roma children benefited from educational support activities. Assistance in the form of food and toiletries was provided during the pandemic for 600 people suffering from extreme poverty. Home care services were provided for 1200 elderly and sick people.
The Reformed Church and its diaconal institutions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East assume their social responsibility through their commitment to the weakest in society. HEKS/EPER supports the Reformed Churches in this endeavour. They provide home care services for elderly and care-dependent people, day care centres for children with disabilities as well as counselling and women's shelters for victims of domestic violence. They also promote social and job market integration for the Roma and other minorities that face discrimination. Through their active involvement, church organizations often play a pioneering role and strive to ensure that the government co-finances or itself provides important public services for the weakest in society.
Czech Republic Country Programme
Buttressing the Evangelical Church and its welfare and socia
HEKS/EPER supports the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in its work with children and adolescents, in community building and in supporting and caring for marginalized people.
Eastern Europe Regional Programme
Promoting inclusion for the Roma
Taking a holistic programme approach, HEKS/EPER fosters the social inclusion of the Roma population in Hungary, Kosovo, Romania and Serbia.