Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in Bangladesh

Despite economic growth and significant social progress for example in health and education, Bangladesh is still plagued by political instability and corruption. Millions of people live in extreme poverty. The country's geographical location in the world's largest river delta also makes it prone to flooding. It is also regularly affected by tropical cyclones. About a million Rohingya refugees have been living in the country since 2017.

Through its projects in the areas of rural community development and conflict transformation, HEKS/EPER supports social, ethnic and religious minorities who face discrimination. HEKS/EPER helps improve their food security and incomes and supports them in the pursuit of equality and justice. HEKS/EPER also provides emergency and reconstruction assistance after natural disasters, supports refugees as well as the host society, and helps to contain epidemics and mitigate their socio-economic impacts.

HEKS/EPER in Bangladesh

Facts

HEKS supports 40 dialogue platforms between minorities and authorities. In 2019, some 8000 Dalits and Adivasis obtained access to healthcare, education and social assistance. Some 4000 Dalits and Adivasis increased their cattle and poultry production and hence their income, which in turn meant greater social acceptance. A total of 2000 people secured land rights to some 1000 hectares.

At the refugee camp near to Cox's Bazar, HEKS/EPER provided humanitarian aid for 52’400 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar – twice as many as in 2018. The focus was on providing latrines, drinking water and on the renovation of living quarters; vegetable gardens and orchards were also laid out.

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.