For three years, the Emmaus in all of its facets training course has been offering companions, employees, volunteers and friends the opportunity to reinforce their feeling of belonging to our movement. Isabelle from Emmaus Berne in Switzerland took part in the 2016 training course on the Emmaus Movement’s history and values. She tells us about her experience.
How long have you been with Emmaus?
I have been working for Emmaus since September 2016.
What made you want to take part in this training course?
I feel it is vital to find out about the Emmaus Movement’s historic roots and its modern-day geographical reach. Recruiting new people to the Emmaus Movement should help sustain the Emmaus ethos and should enable Abbé Pierre’s values to continue being inculcated.
What did you learn? What will be useful to you in your daily life?
I was struck by the sheer diversity of member organisations with activities ranging from selling second-hand goods to rearing hens. However, their core aim is always the same: “offer unconditional shelter and support to disadvantaged people.”
Poverty manifests itself in different ways in the various countries but it hits people equally hard.
Regarding inter-community solidarity, I have gained a better grasp of the needs of other organisations.
What did you like the most? What surprised you?
I was impressed by the invisible ‘bond’ between the participants. Everyone was undoubtedly there for a different experience but a common positive energy emerged in a highly natural and fraternal way.
This makes my day-to-day work even more meaningful, above and beyond the movement’s traditional values.
300! There are over 300 Emmaus groups in Europe. The sheer number really impressed me.
Would you advise other members of the movement to take part?
Yes! Most definitely! Attending the course is an excellent way of increasing your knowledge and expanding your network.