Emmaus Europe, just like the other three continental regions, was formed as a result of the Emmaus International decentralisation process, and the organisation has structured itself and developed over time. The groups now acknowledge Emmaus Europe’s added value, which is enabling regional solidarity initiatives to be developed.
Every year, the Emmaus Europe Secretariat lists the groups’ funding and material requirements. The applications are then examined by the Regional Executive of Emmaus Europe before being rubberstamped by the Regional Council (the Emmaus Europe Board). Approved applications are funded internally via an appeal sent to all the members of Emmaus Europe who have the opportunity to donate to the initiatives of their choice.
In 2010, Emmaus Europe will be funding five solidarity initiatives in Eastern Europe (Bosnia, Lithuania and Ukraine) via group solidarity, and Emmaus International will be supporting a European initiative in Poland. (See The annual solidarity programme).
In addition to the actual solidarity initiatives in the shape of the summer volunteering scheme, support for projects working to combat human trafficking and building houses for Emmaus communities, there is also a regional transport programme. This programme involves a group with a surplus (furniture, ornaments and clothing) sending goods to another group that needs help. The surplus goods are used to stock the store of another member group or are donated directly to the local community (See the table of transport requests for 2010).
In 2010, the Emmaus Europe Secretariat, which is responsible for coordinating and following up these operations in order to ensure fairness and facilitate communication between the groups, registered 49 requests from groups in Eastern Europe.
Two major solidarity events will also be held in Europe in 2010:
- The big European sale to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vosges Committee of Friends will be held in Epinal on 1-2 May. The takings from the sale will be allocated to Emmaus Rzeszow (Poland) to enable it to progress the construction of its community house.
- The 11th Paris Salon will be held on 20 June at Porte de Versailles.
Both of these events will bring together groups that have travelled from all over Europe to sell goods and contribute to regional solidarity. Apart from being just sales, these events are also the chance for companions, friends and volunteers from the region and the Emmaus Europe staff to meet and interact.
Emmaus Europe wishes to take this opportunity to warmly thank all the groups for their involvement in the movement and for their keenness to bring alive the region.