The Regional Assembly of Emmaus Europe held in Brussels in 2009 called for more in-depth dialogue with the companions. One of its objectives was to better integrate companions, starting at local level and going up to the Emmaus Europe decision-making process level, and in a wider sense to integrate them into the life of the Movement. The members of the regional assembly called this objective empowerment.
Where does the word come from? What does the concept mean? What meaning do we give to it?
It is vital in the first instance to gain an overview of the concept of empowerment in order to be able to get to grips with it. This concept is taken to different levels in our European groups via training, dialogue and action.
Interested in finding out more?
A handbook has been put together, on the initiative of certain European elected representatives, to enable you to find out more. They are offering you the chance to enhance your knowledge about this ‘strange’ term, using the attached guide.
The question is whether companion participation should be limited to the various gatherings organised by the movement. These gatherings undoubtedly give them an opportunity to reflect and express their opinions However, it seems that the concept of empowerment entails more than this simple form of participation. Empowerment is all about everyone becoming involved in collective projects.
Enabling everyone to become involved in the collective projects and decide on their interpretation of empowerment would make for greater participation and a greater feeling of belonging to the movement on the part of all of its members. The aim is to enrich the life of the group.
Let’s continue this discussion process, which is not specific to the Europe region, and let’s talk about it at regional council meetings and at all types of gatherings. People’s involvement and knowledge of the Movement and its values vary greatly and are very rich!
The handbook marks the first phase of a wider initiative that we will run together in Emmaus Europe over the coming years. We hope that you enjoy reading the handbook and we look forward to discussing these issues with you.
“Emmaus Europe’s story is also the story of the companions who met Abbé Pierre…”