HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in the Czech Republic
For decades HEKS/EPER has maintained close ties with the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB). Central to their cooperation is the strengthening of the Church and its welfare and social work. In the highly secular Czech Republic where only 40 per cent of the population belong to a religious community, the ECCB ensures that values like charity and solidarity are not forgotten. HEKS/EPER supports the ECCB in its work with children and young people, in renovating churches, pastorages and parish halls, and in supporting and caring for people on the fringes of society. An important component of the cooperation is the sharing of knowledge and experience between the Czech Republic and Switzerland through church parish partnerships, group trips or professional exchanges.
In seven regions of the Czech Republic HEKS/EPER supports volunteers working for the integration of refugees. Some 2000 migrant workers benefited from counselling programmes and made use of the refuge run by the HEKS/EPER partner organisation. About 800 young people from poor backgrounds were able to attend holiday and youth camps thanks to HEKS/EPER.
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.
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.