Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Access to land and resources» in India

After 60 years of development cooperation, HEKS/EPER left India at the end of 2020.

It was a ground-breaking and pioneering move when HEKS/EPER founded a mechanical training workshop for rural youth in Kerala in 1958. That was its first ever project to be launched in a developing country in the South. In the ensuing years HEKS/EPER teamed up with Indian partner organizations to mount various projects for underprivileged and marginalized population groups such as casteless people (Dalits), women, or India's indigenous people (Adivasis).

Mobilization around land has been one of the major HEKS/EPER successes in India: Over the past ten years, more than 100,000 Dalit and Adivasi families were able to secure land titles with the help of HEKS/EPER and its partner organizations. HEKS/EPER has also been highly instrumental in reintroducing agro-ecological farming in its project regions. Activities and practices such as vermicomposting, initiated by HEKS/EPER, have been incorporated into government programmes and will therefore be continued on a lasting basis. HEKS/EPER has now withdrawn from India and definitively handed over responsibility for projects to its partner organizations. This is also our ultimate goal as well as our expectation from sustainable development cooperation. People should not come to depend on aid. Instead, we aspire through our projects to help empower them to take over responsibility and claim the rights to which they are entitled. We came not to stay but to work towards the day when we would no longer be needed.

HEKS/EPER in India

Contact us:

Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)
Communication
Seminarstrasse 28
8042 Zurich
Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 360 88 10
E-mail: projektdienst@heks.ch

Rural communities need unimpeded access to natural resources such as land, water, pastures, savannahs or forests if they are to develop. The possibility to use these resources is critical to fighting hunger and poverty. Agriculture is, after all, the most important source of income for many rural communities. With crop farming, small plantations, livestock rearing, fishing or gathering they can secure their food supply and generate income by selling their produce. Land also serves communities as living space and reinforces cultural and spiritual identity. Many rural communities still lack access to land or risk losing it despite existing or traditional law. HEKS/EPER therefore helps them, through numerous projects, to secure long-term access to land and resources, both practically and legally.