Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in Kosovo

Living conditions for the Roma and other minorities in Kosovo are characterized by poverty, joblessness, discrimination and a lack of prospects. The Roma have only limited access to education, medical care, housing, electricity and water. HEKS/EPER facilitates their inclusion in society by focussing on the areas of schooling, housing improvement, healthcare, vocational training and income support. Significant headway was made in 2015 with the ongoing integration of the 22 learning centres for Roma and other children developed by HEKS/EPER into Kosovo's educational system. Besides, there are now 500 beneficiaries under the scholarship programme that was originally launched for 80 students. In the Fushe Kosove Roma settlement, 85 families were able to renovate their small houses.

HEKS/EPER in Kosovo

Facts

In 2019, HEKS/EPER supported 453 Roma in renovating their homes, which included connecting them to the water supply system. Remedial teaching was provided for 1100 children at 19 learning centres. Some 700 young adults are benefiting from job placements. Altogether 3100 people were able to access government services for the first time.

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.