Emmaus (also Emaus, the Emmaus Movement, from fr. Mouvement Emmaüs) - a social movement and the name of an international charity founded in 1949 in France by Father Peter, ie Henri Grouès.
The origins of the Emmaus movement date right after the Second World War, which caused a crisis throughout Europe. Father Piotr - the caretaker of the homeless - then met a man who wanted to commit suicide, talked to him and persuaded him to abandon this intention. This man, named Georges, became the first companion of the Emmaus community in Neuilly-Plaisance near Paris. Soon more communities began to emerge, also outside France. The organization currently has a network of groups in over forty countries around the world. The first community in Poland was opened in 1995 in Lublin.
Communities are the most basic cells and, at the same time, the first of all activities of the Emmaus movement. In most cases, they were created to welcome people in need of help, the homeless, also addicted, lonely, refugees, giving them shelter, a sense of security, offering them friendship, and finally restoring the joy of life. Others who choose a very simple life, community-oriented and sharing with others find deep meaning in this community as well. Communities give shelter to everyone regardless of age, background and past. Kompanioni live together, work and share the profits earned together within the commune. Depending on the community, individuals or whole families are admitted. According to the idea of the movement, the companion should stay in the community until they regain the possibility of returning and live in dignity in society, but many people spend many years in the community, and sometimes their entire lives.
The Emmaus Friends Association unites people who, without being directly involved in the life of the community, share its ideas and support them at work. Other volunteers for whom the organization prepares volunteer camps also help in the activities of the communities.
In addition to communities, Emmaus runs, among others nursing homes, clinics, clinics, night shelters, hospitals.
Emaus Community in Poland
In 1995, the first Polish community was established in Lublin by Zbigniew Drążkowski.
In 1999, a community was established in Nowy Sącz, which in 2003 founded a community in Kraków - Nowa Huta.
In 2007, a community was established in Rzeszów.
Polish groups Associated with the Emmaus Movement use the Polish name consistent with the traditional name of the biblical town of Emmaus.
The Emmaus community in the world
Currently, about 300 groups in 35 countries operate under the Emmaüs International association:
Europe - 261 groups
including 175 in France
America - 31 groups
Africa - 16 groups
Asia - 7 groups
In 1951, when the first communities began to grapple with financial problems, Father Piotr, on the advice of his charges, decided to earn money by recovering raw materials - waste paper, scrap - by recycling them for reuse.
Today, in most countries, the communities are known as "Emmaus Old Clothing Collectors". Work is one of their basic requirements and, at the same time, their highest values. Communities try to prepare jobs for everyone, depending on qualifications or other factors, such as health condition, making each member of the community necessary. The companions collect used items, restoring them to value. Individual groups run their own shops or fairs where they sell refurbished furniture, clothes, electronic equipment, everyday items and other items previously received from donors. The profit from this activity is intended for the subsistence