Emmaus Europe

An exchange of best practices on working with wood: feedback on the event

In mid-September several European groups met in Krakow, Poland, to talk about the topic of wood – how to renovate wooden objects, how to re-use them, sanding techniques, etc. The Brat Albert group hosted 15 participants from all across Europe who went away with new ideas and plans to lead group projects in the future! Manon and Iosif from the Satu Mare group in Romania told us a little bit more about this informative 2-day event… 

First of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourselves and about how Emmaus Satu Mare works?

Our names are Iosif (warehouse manager) and Manon (educator). The objective of our association is the socio-professional integration of young people who are leaving the child protection system. What we offer is an integration programme that is well-rounded and that covers many different aspects. Our goal is to help them move towards independent living, to help them to acquire vocational skills through practice in the workplace and to provide them with safety and stability by offering them housing.

What does your group do in terms of its work with wood?

We often receive pieces of furniture in pieces that we then assemble. If not all of the pieces are present we then try to replace them with other spare pieces that we have in the workshop. If we are unable to replace them and we cannot find any other solutions to fix it then the piece of furniture will be sold to be used as firewood. We don’t do a lot of creating wooden pieces ourselves for the time being. But recently our young people, supervised by Iosif, made a table for 6 people on top of an old sewing machine! At this best practice exchange we learned a lot from the other participants.

What did you take away from this exchange of best practices?

We learned about different techniques for sanding and varnishing that we had never seen before.

But above all this exchange allowed us to meet the representatives of 6 groups from 4 different countries. Given that we were only a small group of around 15 participants the atmosphere was very welcoming and it was easy to chat to people!

Circular economy / The environment  News Poland

Iosif showing off his sanding technique before applying a French polish finish. © Emmaus Europe