Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church parish partnerships» 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

Facts

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.

Open, vibrant and socially engaged churches effectively attract members and fulfil an important role in society. HEKS/EPER therefore supports the youth and community work of church parishes in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and contributes financially towards the renovation of buildings that are important to church life. HEKS/EPER also promotes solidarity among the Reformed Churches. Partnerships between church parishes in Switzerland and abroad pave the way for reciprocal visits and exchanges and promote support for projects run by partner parishes. Dialogue within the reformed community and with other confessions as well as between church and society enables the Reformed Churches to play an intermediary and social role.