Inclusion and empowerment of marginalized persons.
Reducing food waste.
The purpose of Emmaus Recycling Café is to create a flexible system to get the long-term unemployed in the labour market and to break or prevent exclusion.
The project aims at long-term unemployed people to get a job. The objective is reached through skills development, individual support and practical work. By participating in the project, the participants prepare for employment or education.
The starting point is to prepare and serve good and nutritious lunches. Customers are Emmaus staff and volunteers. The food is prepared from local ingredients, often organic and to a large extent (80-90%) food waste donated by local food stores.
The target group is wide and consists of people with different backgrounds, age or disabilities. The project applies the principle of human equality regardless of gender, ethnicity, functional variation, sexuality, education or age.
Emmaus Recycling Cafe is a safe platform for the participants. An individual mapping clarifies the participant's current situation, with a focus on the labour market. Then an action plan with concrete goals is drawn up.
Internships outside Emmaus Recycling Café is a way to reach an employment and also a way to identify the participant's skills needs.
4 employees and 10 participants at the time, about 20 participants per year.
The initiative is supported by the European Social Fund and carried out in cooperation with employers and social authorities on the Åland Islands.
The idea was born from our will to to do something against the food waste and to find new ways of integrating long term unemployed persons on the labour market.
In 2015 we started with a pilot project which grew to a full scale project in 2016.
We have funding from the European Social Fund for the project until the end of 2018.
After that we need to find other sources of financing, for example by opening up the café for the public and by selling social services to different actors.
In one year, we saved 3354 kg of food from being wasted.
And the result for the participants is normally that they get a job or start an education.
The initiative has been covered in both local and national media. And it has attracted interest by NGOs in several European countries.
We need to find a sustainable basis for the financing of the initiative. And we need to ensure that staff members continuously receive training in the fields of activity (how to use waste food, social work, councelling).