Buttressing the Evangelical Church and its welfare and social work
Czech Republic Country Programme
HEKS/EPER supports the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in its work with children and young people, in renovating churches, pastorages and parish halls, and in supporting and caring for marginalized people. An important part of the cooperation is the sharing of knowledge and experience between the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
The Czech Republic is Europe's most secular country. The national census shows that only one in every seven people is a member of a religious community. This aloofness from the church is also being felt by the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB), with which HEKS/EPER has maintained ties and implemented projects for decades. Yet the ECCB, with its 80,000 members in 250 congregations, provides valuable services to Czech society. Hundreds of volunteers work for the benefit of children and young people or organize camps for otherwise-abled children. At the same time, Diaconia ECCB offers professional care for the elderly and the otherwise-abled in over a dozen institutions in the country.
Objectives, priorities, activities
If the ECCB is to continue as an active church in the Czech Republic, it will need to look at ways of retaining its membership. It is no less important for Diaconia ECCB to continue to develop its services. HEKS/EPER has therefore set itself the following objectives:
Children and youth work: In addition to attractive camps and events, Diaconia ECCB also organizes camps for the otherwise-abled and families with children who are otherwise-abled, thus making an important contribution to society.
Church development: An active church life requires suitable premises.
Combatting worker exploitation and human trafficking: With HEKS/EPER support, Diaconia developed a project for Romanian and Bulgarian migrant workers who are victims of exploitation and human trafficking. After a good start, this project is being scaled up.
Volunteers working on behalf of disadvantaged people: The ECCB also wishes to do its diaconal work at community level. Volunteers are being trained for service to the disadvantaged.
If you have further questions
Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)
Phone: +41 44 360 88 10