HEKS/EPER is a major Swiss NGO with focus on rural community development, humanitarian aid and inter-church cooperation: HEKS/EPER combats the causes of hunger, poverty and injustice through its focus on access to land and sustainable agriculture, and it provides emergency aid following natural disasters and armed conflicts. HEKS/EPER is active in 32 countries with 251 projects around the world. HEKS/EPER runs its own Coordination Offices in 17 primary-focus regions. The regional offices act as important facilitators for networking, capacity building and knowledge sharing between HEKS’ partner organizations, as well as serving as monitoring and supervision bodies. HEKS has acquired sound competencies in the field of rural development through its more than fifty years of working at the community level in different parts of the world.
In Cambodia, HEKS is active since 1979 focusing first on providing food support and later on sustainable development cooperation. In the early 1990s, HEKS set up a coordination office and as of 2003 HEKS Cambodia evolved from an implementing to a coordinating organization. Since 2003, HEKS implements its programme through local partner organizations and Community Based Organizations (CBO). Since it has been transformed into a coordination office, HEKS Cambodia has mainly focused on rural development, sustainable agriculture, value chain development and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, access to land, conflict transformation. With diversification strategies and integration into profitable value chains, many farmers have improved their livelihood significantly. The value-chains facilitated by HEKS’ partners comprise agriculture products such as pepper, cashew, vegetable, chicken, rice, mung-bean and chili. Regarding agriculture and value-chain, HEKS Cambodia is working with partner organizations such as CIRD, SACRED, LAREC, SOFDEC and AK.