Emmaus Europe

Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

Our values

The Emmaus movement aims to tackle poverty through direct action and by fighting the causes of poverty with awareness raising initiatives, advocacy work and solidarity.

Solidarity Ragpickers and Builders

From the very start of our movement Emmaus’ initiatives focused on two main areas: welcoming the homeless and launching income-generating activities to help these people find dignity and live off the fruit of their labours (mainly through activities involving reuse and recycling).

The Emmaus groups offer solidarity using the profits from their activities, helping others to avoid falling into poverty. The groups regularly support other associations by donating equipment or by making a financial contribution. Some of our volunteer-led groups (mainly in northern Europe) focus almost entirely on international solidarity initiatives.

Welcome and reinsertion

The most commonly-known and most widespread, in Europe at least, of the different types of Emmaus groups is the Emmaus community. This model allows people who have been excluded from society to take back control of their lives by living and working together as a group. The communities also offer solidarity to those who are suffering the most.

A multi-facetted welcome

But the Emmaus groups have created many different ways of providing welcome to those who need it: temporary shelter, more permanent housing, get-back-to-work schemes, etc.

What these different initiatives have in common is that the person being welcomed will always have an active role and that the group will always adapt the activities to the needs of the person in question.

Political Campaigning and Working as part of a Network

In order to better tackle the causes of poverty Emmaus Europe has joined the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN).

Alongside such partners we can speak out at the European Union, ensuring that the voice of people living in poverty situations is heard by such institutions. The goal of these efforts is to influence policy-making in order to reduce the level of poverty in Europe.

Housing first

Emmaus defends a policy of long-term housing for people in street situations. On this matter the Abbé Pierre Foundation, named after the founder of Emmaus, leads very active advocacy work in France and also provides funding for projects led by the Emmaus groups, notably in Europe. On the European level the foundation works alongside FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless).

Solidarity Action on the European Level

Emmaus Europe coordinates the solidarity initiatives led on the European level by sending the groups an annual call for projects for any initiatives which may require support. Other interested European groups who can afford to do so then provide a financial contribution to these projects.

The Pooling of Resources

Emmaus Europe also serves as an intermediary between groups which collect a lot of material (furniture, objects, clothing, etc.) and those who only collect little, helping to redistribute our resources so that all of our groups can develop their activities.

Our various stances

Poland

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

Youth Camps : a shared and exciting adventure!

Every year, a number of Emmaus groups across Europe welcome young people – and not-so-young people – to spend time in the groups, and get involved in a solidarity initiative. Known variously as  “summer camps” and “youth camps”, but with the same outcome: a great experience and meaningful interaction.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

Romania

Container loads – solidarity that goes beyond donated goods

Meeting with Jean-Philippe, the leader of Emmaus Satu Mare, Romania. He tells us about how container loads are arranged, but above all, reveals what underpins these initiatives to share donations between the Emmaus groups who receive a lot of donated goods, and those who receive less.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

France

Breaking free of the vicious circle of poverty and prison

A survey and 25 proposals.
In France and in many other European countries, a prison sentence usually leads to poverty upon release. Emmaus and Caritas France have worked together to look into this issue, launching a high-quality survey. Take a look at their proposals to break free of this vicious circle now!

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

France

The Abbé Pierre memory centre celebrates its 10th birthday!

In the house in Normandy, France, where Abbé Pierre lived out his final years, a museum has been open to the public since 22nd January 2012. Many exhibitions have been held there, but his room and the chapel have been kept in their original state.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

Emmaus International is publishing its first Global Report on its fight against poverty

In its first Global Report, Emmaus International is making the voices of the most excluded heard, presenting alternatives and demands, and launching a new appeal against the causes of poverty.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

European Union

European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan

The action plan sets out three headline targets – on the topics of employment, skills and social protection – to be achieved by 2030, with the main objective being the fight against poverty and social exclusion.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity

France

Emmaus Ruffec, solidarity mobility

Since 2009 Emmaus Ruffec has been leading an initiative to tackle a widespread issue, that of mobility. This group is based in a very rural area classified by the French government as a ‘rural area to be revitalised’ and where the unemployed and poor people suffer from mobility issues.

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Tackling Poverty / Solidarity