The Emmaus du Clermontois community is located in a small, rural village, a factor that makes the companions more isolated. Until 2015, the community was only known for being a shop. To breathe fresh life into the community and promote the movement’s values, we decided to open the community to become a place to live, hold discussions and improve our wellbeing together.
There are many organisations in the department, but each works on its own and there isn’t any real coordination between them, meaning that projects are less visible, and their impact is limited. Helping them to meet, get to know each other and join forces will boost our resources and enable us to become better known and understood.
It’s important to raise awareness among the general public (in the broadest sense) about civic values as this enables people to think for themselves and, in turn, to play an active role in society.
This awareness raising takes place through various forums (meetings on topics relevant to society, evenings and cultural excursions, sustainable development projects, etc.).
The objective is to become a key regional stakeholder together with the community and collectives, and thus to have a presence and voice.
Topics of evening events: migrants, the conditions in prisons, the Emmaus movement
Topics of cultural evenings: Toma Sidibé, theatre, a Christmas of solidarity
The companions, two leaders, a team of volunteers.
The organisation ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens) came to meet us at the community, has returned to have lunch with the companions and is going to speak at one of the evening events (we took part in their general assembly).
We’ve joined the Colibris network (inspire, connect and support people who opt for a different way of life!) which has just been set up in Oise, and we’ll be hosting its next meeting. We’ve created a garden for the companions and built a chicken coop.
We’ve also joined the organisation ‘KAYAK de Montataire’ to train for the Article 13 crossing and the members of this organisation have become close partners of the community.
We invite local producers to come and sell their produce (bread, vegetables, cheese, honey) once a week to promote local supply chains.
- Finding local stakeholders who share the same values as the movement
- Making contacts
- Taking part in meetings (network meetings, general assemblies, etc.)
- Running projects: creating a garden and chicken coop, organising topical and cultural events
Providing the local community sector with resources (help to set up projects, logistic support by making rooms available, etc.).
Set up an annual programme for 2017 with meetings on certain topics and monthly theatre performances.
Develop our communication activities (media, newspapers, etc.) so that our work is better known.
Themed meetings, plays, sales of products made by local craftsmen and women have enabled us to show new people the meaning of a community and to tell them about the movement’s values.
Furthermore, the connections we’ve made with organisations offer us the chance to expand.
This move to open up to the outside world has enabled the companions to tell people about their work and to gain recognition for their solidarity activities. Many companions now participate in other organisations (COLIBRIS, KAYAK) and take part in meetings (networks, general assemblies).
The move has also enabled everyone in the community (volunteers and companions) to refresh our knowledge about the movement’s values or learn about them for the first time.
Moreover, we have been able to introduce the Emmaus movement to the public and make people aware of the social inequality and injustice we’re fighting against.
Looking for new partners (organisations, cultural associations).
Approach collectives’ elected representatives to raise awareness about the movement.
Develop our methods of communication.