Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Social inclusion» in Romania

HEKS/EPER has been cooperating with the Reformed Church in Romania (RCR) for many years now. The RCR is present mainly in rural Transylvania, which is severely affected by out-migration and population ageing. The RCR is often the only official institution in small villages. It discharges its social responsibility through welfare activities such as the running of a home care service for elderly and care-dependent people in some 180 localities, as well as a women's shelter and a counseling centre for victims of domestic violence. Another priority is social and economic inclusion for the Roma, who are subject to discrimination. This entails above all better housing and improved access to education, healthcare, work and incomes.

HEKS/EPER in Romania

Facts

In 2019, some 1390 Roma children in 54 localities received educational support; 2000 disadvantaged people took part in labour market programmes, while 2000 Roma augmented their incomes.

Some 20’000 people benefited from social projects run by church-based partner organisations in the fields of home care services, women's shelters and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Ever more people are being excluded because of their social background, ethnicity, age, gender or religion. Integrating people with a migration background can be compounded, for example, by the lack of the requisite language proficiency, ignorance of Switzerland's cultural specificities or by disadvantages on the job market. HEKS/EPER works actively to ensure that the affected people have access to education, work, government programmes and services. But integration is incumbent on society as a whole, which calls for openness as well as regulatory structures that ensure the right of social participation for all. This implies that everyone has the same rights and opportunities and that features such as gender, age, social background, nationality or religion do not give rise to discrimination.