Emmaus in FinlandEmmaus has had a presence in Finland since 1964 and the movement now has five member groups in the country. The groups are mainly made up of volunteers, there is only one “classic” Emmaus community in Finland. The Finnish groups work to meet local needs as well as to provide important support to associations outside of the country, notably in India, Africa and South America.
OriginsStarting in 1959, a small group of Finns began supporting the work of a Swedish organisation, Swallows, in India and Peru. In 1964, Birgit and Rurik Rancken set up a Swallows group in Ekenäs in south west Finland. They selected and prepared volunteers for the work in India and Peru, and organised discussions and provided information about the third world. Gérard Protain, a French priest committed to his work with the Emmaus rag-pickers in Lima, was expelled from Peru in 1962 as the authorities judged his work and views subversive. He then headed to Finland and helped set up the Emmaus Helsinki community in 1966, with Marita Uunila and the Friends of Emmaus. Students and adults worked together to help people living on the streets, to organise the collections and to manage the second-hand shops.
- Welcome, providing accommodation, reintegration
- Collecting, reusing, recycling and selling on objects
- Political campaigning and awareness raising
- Local, european and international solidarity initiatives
- Home collection service
- Craftworks, fairtrade
- Professional training
- Upcycling, joinery
EMMAUS SUOMI/ FINLANDE
Mäkelänkatu 54 A
5 member groups
1 trial member groups
500,000 kg of merchandise collected every year
National delegate for Finland
The Challenges in Finland
“Finnish groups emphasise solidarity and development cooperation support as well as offering supported employment schemes or rehabilitation schemes for vulnerable groups (for example, disabled, unemployed or migrants). There is always lots of work to be done with the collection, sorting and selling of donated goods in the second hand shops. Most of the income allows to support the international solidarity, notably in the Baltic countries.”
©Emmaus international, sole legatee of Abbé Pierre
© Emmaus Kuva
© Emmaus Åland
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The Repair and Reuse Workshops at Emmaus Åland
One of many activities at Emmaus Åland is the Repair and Reuse Workshop, where used clothes or new clothes that do not fit well get a new chance and a new life. The idea behind this project is to offer people a social community and participation, primarily through group activities but also ongoing activities at Emmaus.