Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Church cooperation» in Brazil

There are extreme social and economic disparities in Brazil. Some 60% of the rural population live below the poverty line. Unfair land distribution is one of the reasons for this. Roughly 4.8 million Brazilian families are landless, while some 4 000 large landowners possess over 85 million hectares of land. Families who have lived for generations on their land, though most of them without land titles, are systematically expelled to make way for large soya, sugar cane and eucalyptus plantations and for extensive cattle farming. Brazil's biodiversity is under severe threat and social problems have become exacerbated. HEKS/EPER helps improve the food security and incomes of the rural population and supports the building of a strong civil society.

HEKS/EPER in Brazil

Facts

Through 60 submissions to the authorities on behalf of 30’000 people in 2019, HEKS/EPER championed their land rights, access to resources, as well as the right to a say in decision-making. Twenty-three per cent of the submissions were already accepted in 2019.

Sustainable agriculture and greater biodiversity safeguard livelihoods over the long term. HEKS/EPER projects therefore ensured that 98 per cent of the land was managed in an environment-friendly manner. In the wake of massive fires in the rain forest, HEKS/EPER is assisting 3900 people by providing seeds, seedlings, foodstuffs and medical supplies.

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.