Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Agricultural production and market systems» in Serbia

The wars in Bosnia and Kosovo left Serbia internationally isolated and in economic ruin. The social system had collapsed and poverty and unemployment were rife. Even today some ten per cent of the population still live below the poverty line, and one-third barely above it; 20 per cent are unemployed. Minorities are very severely affected by unemployment and lack of access to social services. On the one hand, HEKS/EPER therefore supports the social and economic inclusion of the roughly half million Roma through improved housing and access to education, healthcare, work and incomes. On the other, HEKS/EPER supports the development of a home care service for sick and older people in rural communities.

HEKS/EPER in Serbia


Living conditions were improved and land titles legalised for some 350 families in 2019. With the help of HEKS/EPER, 600 Roma children were able to attend secondary school; 1500 people in five refugee camps benefited from upgraded sanitary facilities, while 1130 elderly and sick people were helped by home care services.

HEKS/EPER is active primarily in rural areas, where prosperity and quality of life for the poorest are closely bound up with properly functioning agriculture. This is often not the case, however, as depleted soil, poor transport routes or lacking know-how hamper profitable agricultural production. HEKS/EPER helps people engage in profitable and ecological agriculture. This calls for sustainable production techniques and a great diversity of products so as to be able to react to environmental risks and market changes. In order that produce can be marketed successfully, HEKS/EPER enhances smallholders' knowledge of the market and militates for market systems in which smallholders are able to survive. In so doing HEKS/EPER mediates between producing, processing and subcontracting enterprises.