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Beginner’s French initiative
flag France - (Association Emmaüs Indre Fondateur abbé Pierre)


Since 2011, Emmaus Indre has welcomed a certain number of undocumented persons who don’t speak French. Some arrive unaccompanied, others with their families, at the Déols and Le Blanc communities. They are originally from Albania, Kosovo, Ukraine, Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as North Africa.

The Déols community has begun offering a French language course for beginners called the DILF (French Language Initiation Diploma) benefitting around ten willing companions. This diploma is recognised by the national education system, helps integrate the companions into society and also serves as a certificate which is needed for their temporary residence permit applications.

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MEETING OF COMMUNITY, SOCIAL WORK AND EDUCATION LEADERS
flag Uruguay - (EMAÚS AMÉRICA)


This event was organised in line with the Emmaus Americas region’s work plan, which prioritises the need to reinstate spaces for exchange and training in which leaders of the various Emmaus groups, all of whom work in different contexts, can jointly reflect on topics such as the environment, gender, the solidarity economy, poverty, public participation, etc., and can formulate a political message that reaches beyond the groups’ daily action in their respective contexts.

Aim of the meeting:
•Continue strengthening the group leaders’ management skills

•To promote good practice amongst leaders in their collective work, thus helping the groups in their efforts to become economically self-sufficient, to ensure that their activities are sustainable and to include their members.

•Ensure that this work is reflected in our presence as social stakeholders committed to the most urgent social struggles together with those most in need.

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Emmaus Museum
flag Colombia - (Asociación Comunitaria de Emaús Pereira)


Given that within the Emmaus America region there is no museum compiling the movement’s history, we have made use of a 110-year-old structure within the community that is part of the coffee-growing axis, designated by UNESCO to be cultural and architectural heritage of humanity, in which we have created this museum.

Promoting Abbé Pierre’s life, philosophy and works are incredibly important to us because we know that he is ranked on a global level along with Nelson Mandela of Africa, Martin Luther King of the USA, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Gandhi of India and many more of the most famous figures in history who have fought things that create poverty, exclusion, inequality and other evils on our planet.

Here you can se the history of Emmaus from its creation in Europe to its beginnings in America and then in Colombia.

Here you can see images and the history of its beginnings, important figures in its development such as Lucie Coutaz, Georges Legay, and the presidents of Emmaus International to date.

We also have other permanent exhibitions such as those of items that we recycle and social problems that trouble our city, which make visits educational, helping to teach visitors about the importance of recycling and caring for our planet, and also about recycling rain water which is part of one of the museum’s exhibitions.

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Promote the history and news concerning Abbé Pierre and the Emmaus movement.
flag France - (Centre Abbé Pierre Emmaüs)


After the death of Abbé Pierre in 2007, many people came spontaneously to Esteville (30km north of Rouen) to pay their respects at his graveside and visit the place where he lived. The Emmaus movement and Abbé Pierre’s family wanted to set up a museographical and cultural centre that was both efficient and sustainable. Abbé Pierre chose to be buried in the cemetery in Esteville next to the Emmaus companions, the first of whom, Georges Legay, was buried in 1966. Abbé Pierre lived in this house intermittently between 1964 and 2007, and full time in the 1990s. After his death, his room and chapel were left how he left them, leaving a unique and moving testimony to his personality and commitments.

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Recreation Centre at the Emmaus CADA
flag France - (Association Emmaüs Bussières-et-Pruns)


Responding to an internal and external need

The association runs a reception centre for asylum seekers (CADA) where families live with their children. They are housed in an old convent, provided and refurbished by the Abbé Pierre foundation for welcoming these families. During the holidays, the children need activities. They sometimes go to recreation centres in the area, but this is not always possible due to a lack of spaces.

The association therefore decided to create a recreation centre in the CADA to create a participative and social space, and also to create a local place for children of families that live in the area and nearby areas. Through this project, the association hoped to facilitate living together in the local area through enabling social and cultural mingling.

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Arts Workshops with the Companions.
flag France - (EMMAUS SAINTE SABINE)


The Emmaus Sainte Sabine community is also a transition house. This means that companions are able to take part in arts activity workshops three times a week in parallel with their daily bric-a-brac activities. Founded by a nurse, the goals were to help companions that came here with their rehabilitation into the community by offering them artistic workshops as a tool for their personal and creative development, which is necessary for a person’s complete rehabilitation.

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Tea Saloon.
flag France - (Association Emmaüs Toulouse Labarthe-sur-Lèze, Fondateur Abbé Pierre)


Cafés are a shared space and the idea of this project was to stregnthen the links between people doing civic service from Unis-Cité with people from Emmaus as well as customers and donors.

The café is a space to talk about our values, struggles and initatives whilst enjoying spending some time together. Showing that by re-using objects we can create pleasant, tasteful spaces for exchanges and meetings.

Showing that exchange and togetherness are important in our sales areas: taking the time to talk to one another is key. Tiffen, Julie, Marion and Vidura are the 'spring chickens’ of Emmaus Toulouse!

They are involved in various awareness-raising initiatives alongside the association MediaTerre and have been with us since October. This civic service group from Unis-Cité has helped us form new relationships. They firstly got involved in our sorting and sales activities and then the idea came to set up a social area at our Labarthe-sur-Lèze site.

Near the entrance to the sales area a few palettes, spare wood and imagination were all that was required to create a café, our tea 'Saloon'. Home-made cakes, organic juice and sustainable tea and coffee help make this a real place of exchange.

Tony, Paulo and Christian, companions in Labarthe-sur-Lèze, helped build this space using the materials collected by the community. The second life given to these objects is rather unique. Concerts, story-telling and social events are organised to bring people together to talk about Emmaus' work, with a cup or a plate of local produce in hand of course.

Inspired by Westerns with its wooden furniture this tea salon really does make you think of a saloon, if you don’t believe us come and see it for yourselves...

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CENT POUR UN TOIT
flag France - (Association des amis de la communauté des Chiffonniers d'Emmaüs de Quimperlé)


So-called “nonsuit” families, i.e. families who completed the asylum application procedure but did not obtain refugee status, should in theory “hand in their keys” a month after the French national asylum court rejects their application.

The families are supposed to use this month to find accommodation or apply for assistance to return home. In most cases, if they choose to stay in France, they end up without any accommodation. In fact, these families don’t have access to the accommodation, social reintegration centres or any other traditional forms of accommodation.

They can alternatively apply for leave to remain on different grounds.
In reality, though, they often end up on the streets.
Their “nonsuit” status means they can neither be deported nor given papers. This grey legal area leaves the families in a situation of insecurity and prevents stakeholders from acting.

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Initiatives for Peace
flag Italy - (Associazione Comunitá Emmaus Villafranca)


Participating in the organisation of a large gathering of movements and Italian networks who fight for a culture of peace and nonviolence. The gathering was held in the Verona Arena.

Presenting a bill to the Italian government so that they implement a nonviolent civil defence force that would be financed using some of the resources originally earmarked for military spending.

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Preparing Young People in Burundi for Immigration to Europe.
flag Burundi - (Association de Lutte contre la Délinquance et la Pauvreté A.L.D.P.)


There have been inter-ethnic conflicts and wars in Burundi for over 10 years and this has had a negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the population. Burundi has witnessed violence, violations of different types, famine, displacement of persons, the destruction of the socio-economic infrastructure, children not being put in school or dropping out of school, unemployment, etc.

Given that moving to Europe is currently the dream for the majority of young people in Burundi, due to the unstable socio-economic and political situation in the country, ALDP (the Association to Fight Crime and Poverty) provides support for young people, organises outreach programmes and awareness raising/informative sessions on freedom of movement and residence in Europe for those who wish to migrate.

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Raising awareness of the situation in African countries
flag Denmark - (Genvej til Udvikling)


GTU (Genvej Til Udvikling, or Shortcut to Development) aims to inform the general public about Emmaus and development initiatives, particularly those run in French-speaking countries in West Africa. The group makes a particular effort to reach sectors of the Danish population which have little awareness of the issue through other development associations.

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Emmaus Recycling Café
flag Åland Islands - (Emmaus Åland)


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.

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Emmaus Labour Pool
flag Åland Islands - (Emmaus Åland)


The right to movement and work.

We had many beggars in the streets and some people saw this as a problem. We saw the possibilities and offered them work instead. We analysed the legal aspects (taxation, work permits, insurances et.) of migrant workers, and adapted our system to existing regulations.

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Emmaus Soup Kitchen
flag Åland Islands - (Emmaus Åland)


The idea is to provide a space for social interaction.

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The Solid’Em Bar, A Place of Exchange and Lobbying
flag France - (Emmaüs Communauté Chambéry)


The bar Solid’Em, located in the community’s sales area, was created in June 2011 to raise awareness amongst the general public and to bring in extra funds for the water access and sanitation project at Lake Nokoué in Benin. The community has been committed to the Lake Nokoué project since its launch in 2007.

All profits from the bar were sent to Emmaus International to fund the Lake Nokoué project. The construction phase ended in 2016 but the project continues with the local association of the inhabitants of the lake which manages the infrastructure and raises awareness about hygiene, water management and sanitation.

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Support for the homeless
flag Romania - (Fundatia "Un coup de main d'Emmaüs")


As the poorest country in Europe, the issue of poverty and poor housing is one of many problems that Romanian society has to face. The fall of the dictatorship revealed the scandal of the Romanian orphanages and the fact that, after leaving the orphanages, many children ended up living the street without any help from the government. 25 years later, the situation is changing all too slowly, as revealed in the report by FEANTSA (European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless), which ranked Romania 24th out of 28 in its study on poor housing within the European Union. Those affected by the issue of poor housing often have very restricted access to basic needs such as food, hygiene, security and education.
In response to this situation, several French associations linked to Emmaus began setting up soup kitchens in 1997 in Iasi, a city in the east of the country which is the capital of the poorest region in Romania. Meetings between French and Romanian people who wanted to become involved in helping Iasi’s marginalised population were what laid the foundation for this Emmaus community.

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Support for Children and Young Migrant Workers
flag Côte d’Ivoire - (Association Jekawili)


The project supports children and young migrant workers for four specific reasons:

 The number of children and adolescents migrating within and between countries in West Africa is so high because there are so many armed conflicts and other natural catastrophes, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso.
 The social services are not effective.
 We acknowledge the voluntary nature of children/adolescents migrating to find work.
 To add to the single strategy of intercepting and systematically sending back migrant children/adolescents. We enable them to integrate into society by offering them access to decent jobs in the places they reach.

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100 for 1 in Bocage
flag France - (A.D.B.)


Local associations and parishes in the Bocage region are regularly confronted with emergency situations involving serious material need and sometimes great emotional distress. We urgently need to find new solutions to help the homeless, some of whom are migrants.

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Refugees need you…
flag France - (Association Emmaüs Dunkerque, Fondateur Abbé Pierre)


Since 1999, the Emmaus Grande Synthe/Dunkirk community has been buzzing with passing exiles seeking to reach England. The community offers them meals and equipment (clothes/covers/tents/pots/candles, etc.). “They” were some hundred people living in the “jungle” (‘woods’ in Afghani) near the community. We were able to provide for many of their needs. In July 2014, huge numbers of exiles arrived. We were overwhelmed by requests. We panicked, but then, remembering the 1st February, the 60th anniversary, we appealed to the big Emmaus family, and 60 years later we need the same things.

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“Shacks under a Roof"
flag France - (Association Emmaüs Bourg-en-Bresse Servas)


Our group has been working with homeless migrants in Bourg-en-Bresse for several years, providing them with material support and campaigning to ensure that their situation is understood.

A homeless family moved into one of our disused sales areas in October 2015, it hadn’t been used for over a year… we are now officially classified as an “occupied-consenting” landlord as we have not made a complaint about this.

We now have more than 60 people organising their survival on our premises. The site has been given the nickname “the shacks of Brou” as each family has built a shack inside the 2 hangars.

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EMMAUS, A PLACE TO LIVE AND RAISE AWARENESS
flag France - (Association communauté Emmaüs du Clermontois Fondateur abbé Pierre)


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.

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LIVING TOGETHER
flag Belgium - (La Poudrière ASBL)


In 1958, following meetings with Christians and homeless people, two priests and one couple set up the La Poudriere community project in a deprived area of Brussels, around the Ninove city gate.

With the simple goal of “being present” and seeking out misfortune and friendship, from the very beginning each day was shared, meaning that the usual concept of charity and “working for” was replaced by a new form of solidarity: “working with”.
The project has been in operation ever since, allowing those in difficult situations to share their lives with those who are not. This happens through shared meals and work, and living in the same place but with private spaces.

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BESARKADAK
flag Spain - (Emaús Fundación Social)


The people of Gipuzkoa have always been diverse and welcoming, as we have seen with the solidarity response from these people in light of the refugee/migrant crisis – aiding these people who are fleeing conflict situations, violence and rights violations which prevented their development in their countries of origin. A cohesive, diverse society is one which is based on principles of interculturality, which pays attentions to the uniqueness of all of the different people in society and which feeds off this diversity. We hope to offer a response to the challenge of supporting and participating in processes for social cohesion by embracing cultural diversity in Gipuzkoa.

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PASSIONE CIVILE
flag Italy - (EMMAUS ITALIA)


Welcoming those in need, self-financing, the struggles against the mafia and against poverty. Emmaus Palermo was created to bring together social anti-mafia action and the struggle against poverty into a single vision of sustainable and dignified social and human development, in contrast to the current dominant economic system and the closure of borders.

The economic and social context is one of a wonderful land ruined by a politico-mafioso-Masonic power system that over the years has erased basic rights, such as the right to education, the right to an effective healthcare system and the right to conduct business. In Palermo, the mafia has killed hundreds of honest business owners, journalists, magistrates, policemen, trade unionists, free men and women. After the mafia massacres of 1992, there was a moment of awakening in Palermo’s collective conscience. Today, thanks to the young people who were children in 1992, various new movements have been launched: activism, association building, social enterprise and anti-mafia practices that are demonstrating how the mafia can be fought and eliminated through the simple, responsible behaviour of all citizens on a daily basis. Emmaus Palermo is active above all in the most peripheral contexts and in those that are neglected by the authorities. Palermo and Sicily score highest in many of Europe’s negative rankings (for example the early school-leaving rate, the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs), or the alarming data on youth unemployment and on relative and absolute poverty ).
Thousands of poor families in Palermo live off the collection of iron or used material; it was important to make it clear that the establishment of Emmaus in the city would not threaten those who use the second-hand market for informal work. That is why we strive every day to make it clear that our work is not intended to compete with others, but rather to help everybody in need.
Palermo is a symbolic city, the capital of the Mediterranean, rich in history and different cultural traditions. More than any other region of Italy, this city experiences the drama of the migrant arrivals and the difficulties in welcoming thousands of young people who are fleeing war and persecution in Africa. Unfortunately, the Sicilian and Nigerian mafias have made pacts of friendship and collaboration at Ballarò, which means that those who work with migrants have a duty to keep the young people arriving here at a distance from these soliciting networks that control drug trafficking and street prostitution.
Emmaus Palermo was given a building that was confiscated from the mafia in the Vergine Maria neighbourhood. In the past, this neighbourhood was controlled by the Galatolo mafia family (famous for their diplomatic abilities in making ties with politicians and the secret services). The Galatolo also control the Fiera del Mediterraneo exhibition centre, which houses the solidarity-based second-hand market in Pavilion 3. There is great interest in Pavilion 3, which is occupied by Emmaus Palermo, because it is the biggest pavilion in the exhibition centre. Over the course of one year, we have had seven cases of damages, break-ins, clear intimidation, and theft from the market. We are also subject to a daily boycott by the porters at the entrance gate, who do not allow our clients’ vehicles to enter the centre. Despite this, the market still functions and allows us to welcome eight companions.
Unfortunately, Palermo city council would like to use Pavilion 3 for commercial purposes. It is vital for us to remain inside the centre, which is why we are looking for financing in order to rent it and to carry out work to secure it and make it fit for purpose.

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Professional training for young people - Recife
flag Brazil - (Associação dos Trapeiros de Emaús Recife)


“Serve first those who suffer most, serve first those in greatest need”.

It was to respond to this call from Abbé Pierre that the Emmaus group in Recife decided to set up a service for young people on the outskirts of Recife – these young people have no chance of entering the labour market.

The main aim of Emmaus Recife’s vocational training school is to offer young people the chance to learn a profession that can enable them to improve their personal and social living conditions, whilst at the same time becoming aware of their role as a responsible citizen in helping to build a fair and fraternal society.

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Rehabilitation through the Carnival in Prisons for Women
flag Uruguay - (Emaús Asociación Civil Nuevo Paris)


14 years ago the companions in the Emmaus Nuevo París community were looking at the story of Abbé Pierre and saw that the first companion and volunteer was George, an ex-prisoner whose desperate situation had led him to the verge of suicide. The founder of our movement could see that this man could help and that helping would help him too, “…by saving others we save ourselves…”

Thus started a project which has become a triumph of Abbé Pierre’s legacy. We were convinced that our project needed to be an energetic social action for a good cause and that it should also include elements of Emmaus’ social and development policy. In Uruguay it was, and still remains, difficult to go into prisons to work with prisoners. Some of the Emmaus groups from France heard about this initiative and decided to help us via a twinning which lasted for a few years. The relationship we built in the prisons was so strong that the community continues to do what we can although the twinning has come to an end and we have few resources at our disposal.

Our goal was to create a Creative Arts workshop which would involve many different disciplines of craftwork and both the theoretical and practical side of art. The goal was to create something beautiful whilst maintaining a social spirit, as is our mandate in a movement such as Emmaus.

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ARTS AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL
flag Colombia - (Asociación Comunitaria de Emaús Pereira)


In Columbia, as in the rest of the American continent, both formal and informal education is severely lacking. A good-quality education does not reach the poorest populations or the most marginalised sectors, making people more vulnerable to turning to drug addiction, crime and prostitution as a means to survive. This is why we have started this initiative, providing these people with the opportunity to spend their free time doing something good and healthy, giving them a chance to improve their lives and find work.

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