Emmaus Europe


Emmaus in Switzerland

Emmaus has had a presence in Switzerland since 1956 and the movement now has 11 member groups in the country. The groups in the country benefit from the support of their national organisation, Emmaus Switzerland, as well as the ARCE (the Romande Association of Emmaus Groups). The Swiss groups live from the fruit of their labours, with the items donated covering the costs of their initiatives. The groups in the country respect the principles of unconditional welcome and financial autonomy.


From an early age, Marcel Farine was actively involved in the political, social and religious spheres. He and his wife Thérèse went to Abbé Pierre’s conference, ‘Poverty judges the world’ in Bern in February 1956. They were moved by his message and two days later they organised a big collection of merchandise in Bern, founding the first Swiss group. Marcel Farine was elected the first chair of Emmaus Switzerland, created in June 1958, and of Emmaus International, in 1971.

Main Activities

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

Secondary Activities

  • Home collection service
  • Fixing objects
  • Farming
  • Solidarity café


Statthalterstrasse 101
CH-3018 Berne

+41 (0)31 348 12 02 / +41 (0)31 348 12 01

+41 (0)31 348 12 03


Check out their website


Key numbers

11 member groups

160 companions

100 volunteers

9 shops

1-4 tons of merchandise collected per group per day

9 Local groups
Click to see more information about a group



Jérémie Udry
National delegate for Switzerland

The Challenges in Switzerland

“The main challenge for us in our day-to-day work is to ensure our social mission can coexist alongside the need to bring in funds (the fruits of our labours is the only source of income for the Swiss groups). We thus need to always find the right balance between these two aspects in order to maintain our team spirit”.

With pictures

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Velüs: bikes just keep on giving

Cycling is, after walking, the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport. Emmaus Jura decided to use bikes as a means for creating a fairer, more equal society.

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Circular economy / The environment 


Emmaus in Switzerland

Extracts from an interview with Jérémie Udry, national delegate for Switzerland on the Regional Council of Emmaus Europe.

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