The opening of an international youth hostel in Neuilly-Plaisance (Paris region) aimed to show post-war youth that in spite of the barbarity and violence of which man is capable, we should never give up hope.
Throughout his life and many struggles, Abbé Pierre always reiterated the key role that should be given to young people.
This was the last issue on which Abbé Pierre spoke out; condemning the ideal of material and financial success that modern society offers them. In his last publication N’oublions pas les jeunes , Abbé Pierre reiterated just how many young people are excluded and, in the 21st century, do not benefit from conditions enabling them to live a decent life.
Marked by the ethos of its founder, the Emmaus Movement as a whole seeks to give young people a major role across the world.
This is why Emmaus International created a working group on this issue in 2004 – the World Council on Training and New Generations – made up of members from the Movement’s four regions, including four European elected representatives. This world council helps to organise youth initiatives and ensures that young people are never marginalised.
Emmaus Europe also works actively with young people: youth camps are organised each year in a number of European groups (see European Youth Camps). In addition, a camp is held every summer at Srebrenica (Bosnia-Herzegovina). All European young people wanting to give a new lease of life to this town ravaged by the war are invited to take part (The summer volunteer programme).
Finally, throughout the year the European members of Emmaus welcome young volunteers who wish to experience community life (Annual volunteer programme).