Following the Charleville regional salon in 2009, Emmaus ‘invaded’ the centre of Haguenau, the venue for the 4th Regional Champagne Ardennes / Alsace / Lorraine Salon on 3-4 September 2011.
All of the groups from Emmaus France’s Region 8, accompanied by Emmaus Ferrara (Italy) and Un Coup de Main d’Emmaus Iasi (Romania), supported this sociable solidarity event that gathered 3 400 visitors.
A regional gathering in support of international solidarity
This year, 40% of the Salon’s takings will be used to support the Lithuanian Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre (MPFSC). The European member groups’ contributions have enabled Emmaus Europe to support the centre since 2008. The centre does prevention and awareness raising work in order to protect young people who are at risk from human trafficking. Gender equality is also one of its work areas. (To find out more, please visit the following links: 2010 : Emmaus Europe is fighting human trafficking by supporting a Lithuanian organisation – the Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre and 2011 european solidarity programme). The remaining 60% will be transferred to Emmaus International to support its education work area.
A packed weekend
Everyone got down to work on Saturday 3 September, setting up the stands in the two rooms made available to Emmaus for the event. After the hard work, it was time to relax. A celebratory and sociable evening followed complete with a dinner of stew and live music.
On the Sunday the companions, friends and staff were at their posts at 8am to sort out any last-minute details and to welcome visitors as soon as the salon opened. While visitors snapped up bargains in the Halle aux Houblons, in the Salle des Corporations the public could visit a wide range of creative and information stands. SOS Familles and local associations were invited to present their work. Emmaus Europe and Emmaus International also had an area containing information about the Movement’s work around the world. Finally, an exhibition about the life of Abbé Pierre had pride of place.
Showcasing creativity and recycling
The colourful fashion shows were a highlight of the Sunday. Some 120 outfits designed and made over the months by friends of Emmaus Haguenau caused a sensation. The outfits were modelled by their designers, who emerged from an imposing wooden wardrobe, and followed on from each other in a perfectly choreographed performance of creative and varied scenes. Everyone admired the outfits made from dressing gowns, curtains and pillowcases that were recycled at Emmaus.