You may remember, last year we raised money for the charity Emmaus – an international charity who use money raised by their shop, café and from charitable donations to create a worldwide network of homes for people in need. The money raised by this charity is used to fund the people who live at these safe and supported homes. All of these people have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, which puts them in need of a stable home and a supporting job to get them back on top.
Although an international charity, Emmaus has a local branch, which we decided to support as our local charity last year. Each branch is treated as their own charity in a way as they all have to support themselves. The local branch is an amazing place with a shop full of good quality second-hand items as well as a café which food cooked by the “companions”.
“Companions” is a term used in the Emmaus house to refer to the occupants who are like family and respect each other. Each companion has a job, which they do to support the homes or other companions in some way. For example, some companions fix the electrical problems or clean the house, to give a little to the home. Others, serve at the café and others work at the shop. In return for the hours, and labour each companion doesn’t get money, but gets support, affection, food and a loving home for shelter.
When the school council visited the local Emmaus to present the big cheque, we also got an exclusive tour, where we learnt more about the house. The welcoming living room, represents a welcoming home and gives a homely feel. With furniture and decorations from the donations, it still feels like a place where you can relax and have some down time.
by Ashvini Kamal