Emmaus Europe


Emmaus in Poland

Emmaus has had a presence in Poland since 1996 and the movement now has 3 member groups in the country. The three Polish groups are all “classic” Emmaus communities which welcome people in and do the work of collecting, sorting, fixing and selling objects on at a low price. These groups have developed over time and each of them now has multiple welcome centres and sales areas.


After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the Emmaus Cologne community contacted many different people and organisations in East Germany and Eastern Europe. This is how Emmaus International was first introduced to Zbigniew Drazkowski in 1992. Based in Lublin, he was devoted to improving the lives of physically and mentally disabled people, considered subhuman by some there at the time. He set up a foundation, Między Nami (Among Us), and opened a centre running therapeutic workshops. This collaboration led to the development of his action and an Emmaus community was eventually opened in 1996.

Main Activities

  • Welcome, providing accommodation, reintegration
  • Collecting, reusing, recycling and selling on objects
  • Political campaigning and awareness raising
  • Local, european and international solidarity initiatives

Secondary Activities

  • Care centre for disabled persons
  • Therapeutic workshops
  • Farming
  • “Doing the rounds”, food bank
  • Welcome centre for the homeless
  • Workshop for repairing and making furniture

Key numbers

3 member groups

90 companions

6 sales areas

1 welcome centre

3 Local groups
Click to see more information about a group



Grzegorz Hajduk
National delegate for Poland

The Challenges in Poland

“The biggest challenge is to maintain our communities and sustain the cooperation between them. The pandemic severely limited direct contact between the members of the groups but we tried to meet as often as possible.

We are not very rich communities, sometimes we have problems maintaining our financial liquidity and we are constantly working on this to ensure the brightest possible future for the members of our communities.”

With pictures

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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.

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Circular economy / The environment 


Zbigniew Drazkowski from Emmaus Lublin: Poland at a Historic Crossroads

The last regional board meeting was held in Poland. At the meeting we asked our host, Zbigniew Drazkowski, founder of the Emmaus Lublin group, to give us his point of view on the political situation in Poland under a far-right regime.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity


Emmaus Lublin: solidarity continues at the border with Ukraine

In Poland, this group located close to the Ukrainian border has been rallying round since the start of the conflict. Zbigniew, the founder of Emmaus Lublin, explains to us how the situation is developing as the conflict is becoming entrenched.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity


Emmaus Lublin: success for our solidarity pizzeria!

This Polish community diversified its activities recently by opening an Italian/Turkish restaurant. This new adventure has been a great success and Zbigniew Drążkowski, the group leader, and Ela Guc, admin manager, have been telling us all about it.

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