HEKS/EPER The aid organization of the Swiss Protestant Churches
HEKS/EPER became a foundation in 2004. Its supreme body is the Board of Trustees, which delegates the management of the organization’s affairs to the Executive Board. The Board is supported by the heads of department and of regional offices. HEKS/EPER employs over 400 permanent staff members. Over 600 other people earn an hourly wage, and about 360 people do volunteer work.
HEKS/EPER supports rural community development, humanitarian aid and church cooperation projects in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. HEKS/EPER runs its own Coordination Office in 17 priority programmes or primary-focus regions.
HEKS/EPER operates in six countries in Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Rural community development is central to its commitment. HEKS/EPER supports smallholder families in building better, more stable livelihoods through improved access to drinking water and land, natural resource preservation, the use of organic farming methods and through disaster preparedness measures. Smallholder families enhance their food security, diversify their income streams and are better protected against drought and flooding. In times of acute famine HEKS/EPER and its local partner organizations provide humanitarian aid. HEKS/EPER also promotes prevention and conflict resolution in tense situations.
The aim of HEKS/EPER in Ethiopia is to improve access to vital resources such as water, land and seed. People are broadening their knowledge of sustainable agriculture, protecting their traditional seeds and securing their water supply so that they can produce enough food even during droughts.
Objectives, priorities, activities
Under its 2016-2019 country programme, HEKS/EPER is working to support people in rural areas and their access to vital resources such as water, land, seeds as well as knowledge about the sustainable management of these resources. HEKS/EPER works with local partner organizations, which are responsible for its projects. HEKS/EPER supports them by furnishing the requisite financing for the implementation of their projects. HEKS provides support and advice on methods and content so as to ensure that funds are used as effectively as possibility, thereby helping to strengthen partner organizations.
HEKS/EPER collaborates with local partner organizations and supports them in working with target groups. Projects primarily target smallholder families in the Oromia region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples› Region. The aim is to improve their living conditions and foster their chances of a life in dignity. Beneficiaries also include grassroots organizations and self-help groups. They are an important component of Ethiopian civil society and should be in a position to take independent decisions regarding their development.
HEKS/EPER on the ground
To advise and support partner organizations and their projects, HEKS/EPER operates a Coordination Office in Addis Ababa staffed by a team of committed local experts. HEKS/EPER is thus contributing meaningfully to strengthening its partners and promoting the sharing of knowledge and experiences among partner organizations.
EKS/EPER follows the help for self-help approach – whereby people are empowered to deal with their own problems in the future without outside help. Smallholder families and the youth in the project areas are being assisted in accessing markets for their products and in generating income. Local water committees are to be enabled to organize their water supplies independently and secure them for the future. Nomadic families too are to be assisted in preserving their time-honoured tradition of sustainably managing land and water resources and enjoy enhanced capacities for dealing with conflicts.
Learn More at https://en.heks.ch/