HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in Romania
HEKS/EPER has been cooperating with the Reformed Church in Romania (RCR) for many years now. The RCR is present mainly in rural Transylvania, which is severely affected by out-migration and population ageing. The RCR is often the only official institution in small villages. It discharges its social responsibility through welfare activities such as the running of a home care service for elderly and care-dependent people in some 180 localities, as well as a women's shelter and a counseling centre for victims of domestic violence. Another priority is social and economic inclusion for the Roma, who are subject to discrimination. This entails above all better housing and improved access to education, healthcare, work and incomes.
In 2019, some 1390 Roma children in 54 localities received educational support; 2000 disadvantaged people took part in labour market programmes, while 2000 Roma augmented their incomes.
Some 20’000 people benefited from social projects run by church-based partner organisations in the fields of home care services, women's shelters and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Alongside development cooperation and humanitarian aid, church cooperation is the third pillar of HEKS/EPER's international work. For decades in some cases, HEKS/EPER has been supporting, advising, promoting and accompanying Reformed Churches in Eastern Europe, Italy and the Near East in their diaconal work and in building up vibrant church communities. HEKS/EPER supports various church-run social activities, especially for children and young people. In addition, HEKS/EPER is ensuring the continued existence of active church parishes through financial and logistical support for the renovation of run-down church buildings. Lastly, through church parish partnerships as well as exchange and continuing education programmes, HEKS/EPER promotes dialogue between Reformed Church parishes in Switzerland and partner churches abroad.
Romania Country Programme
Vibrant and socially responsible church
In Romania HEKS/EPER supports social and economic inclusion for elderly and care-dependent persons, victims of domestic violence and the Roma population.