HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in Romania
HEKS/EPER has been cooperating with the Reformed Church in Romania and with its social organization Diakonia for many years now. Rural Transylvania is being especially affected by outmigration and population ageing. The Church or Diakonia are often the only official institutions in small villages. Social responsibility is discharged through social welfare activities in the form of a home care service for elderly and care-dependent people in some 180 localities, a women's shelter and a counselling centre for victims of domestic violence.
Another priority is social and economic inclusion for the Roma, who are subject to discrimination. This places the focus on better access to basic education and secondary schools for children and young people and on job market integration as a means of earning an income independently.
In 2020, 1660 Roma children received educational support at 52 learning centres. Another 1000 young people were supported through learning camps, extra tuition as well as study and career counselling.
Social projects run by church-based partner organisations benefited 23 000 people. The projects included a home care service, women's shelters and programmes for integrating 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.
Eastern Europe Regional Programme
Promoting inclusion for the Roma
Taking a holistic programme approach, HEKS/EPER fosters the social inclusion of the Roma population in Hungary, Kosovo, Romania and Serbia.
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.