Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Advocacy for the socially disadvantaged» in Brazil

There are extreme social and economic disparities in Brazil. Some 60% of the rural population live below the poverty line. Unfair land distribution is one of the reasons for this. Roughly 4.8 million Brazilian families are landless, while some 4 000 large landowners possess over 85 million hectares of land. Families who have lived for generations on their land, though most of them without land titles, are systematically expelled to make way for large soya, sugar cane and eucalyptus plantations and for extensive cattle farming. Brazil's biodiversity is under severe threat and social problems have become exacerbated. HEKS/EPER helps improve the food security and incomes of the rural population and supports the building of a strong civil society.

HEKS/EPER in Brazil

Facts

Through 60 submissions to the authorities on behalf of 30’000 people in 2019, HEKS/EPER championed their land rights, access to resources, as well as the right to a say in decision-making. Twenty-three per cent of the submissions were already accepted in 2019.

Sustainable agriculture and greater biodiversity safeguard livelihoods over the long term. HEKS/EPER projects therefore ensured that 98 per cent of the land was managed in an environment-friendly manner. In the wake of massive fires in the rain forest, HEKS/EPER is assisting 3900 people by providing seeds, seedlings, foodstuffs and medical supplies.

HEKS provides pro bono legal advice for people in emergency situations in the areas of social insurance, social welfare, family matters, children and guardianship, tenancy and foreign nationals. Those affected by poverty as well as undocumented persons should have the possibility of receiving legal advice. The legal advice offices for socially disadvantaged people in the Cantons of Aargau and Geneva provide professional advice to those in need of help. Legal experts and/or lawyers help those needing advice to understand legal situations, and also point them towards possibilities for self-help. In selected cases, the legal advice office undertakes the legal representation of a needy person.