On Sunday March 29th 2009 an encounter between some Dutch Emmaus groups and all German Emmaus groups took place in Krefeld (Germany) to discuss on the following topics:
- Exchange between companions about the life in the communities in both countries
- Main reflection / theme of the day: Solidarity in Emmaus
The team who prepared this meeting was positively surprised of the big number of participants which amounted to more than 50 persons.
The most important time of the day was the one used on reflection and talks between companions, organized in two workshops.
Internal Solidarity: What does it mean in our daily life in the communities?
- Helping , accepting and respecting each other
- Working together
- To give without expecting something in return
- To realize that people with less possibilities and many problems can work side by side with privileged people and have a permanent common action and challenge
- The limits of community´s solidarity (solidarity is no “one-way- street“)
- To listen and to understand each other
- To respect the differences between people
External Solidarity: What are the engagements of the groups outside?
- Center for homeless and poor people to structure their day (Emmaus Krefeld)
- Night soup for homeless in the city 5 times the week (Emmaus Köln)
- Soup-kitchen during the winter every Sunday night with volunteers (Emmaus Krefeld)
- Clothes and blankets for homeless (Emmaus Utrecht)
- Support of local social initiatives (Emmaus Sonsbeck / Emmaus Köln)
- Welcome for homeless in every community
- Exchange of companions / participation in work camps and in the Salon to change the personal behavior and thinking
- Financial support in different countries and continents
- Animation to the companions and leaders to understand better Solidarity in Emmaus
All in all, in spite of a few language problems that the participants had to overcome, they all said to have taken a positive input from this encounter and expressed their wish to see new initiatives like this one appear.