Emmaus Cambridge sent a 40ft shipping container with over more than 200 boxes of household items, large items of furniture, and clothing to the Romanian Emmaus community based in Satu Mare last week (Thursday 5 April). The donation is worth approximately £10,000.

One formerly homeless Romanian companion and a volunteer from the Satu Mare community were invited to Emmaus Cambridge’s community, based in Landbeach, to help choose the contents of the container, which is the first of three shipments planned for 2018.

Emmaus Cambridge sent its first container to Romania in 2014 to and has continued to make regular donations to its sister community ever since. The containers are heavily relied on by the Romanian community, which rarely receives donations.

Typically, people living at the Satu Mare community are under 25 years-old and have been in the Romanian care system their entire life. As residents of the community, they have access to health care and support in finding permanent housing. Like Emmaus Cambridge, the stability provided at the Satu Mare community helps companions to rebuild their lives after experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. Companions living at Emmaus Cambridge are encouraged to go and visit Satu Mare as part of an exchange programme to see how things are done in Europe.

Julia, a volunteer from Emmaus Satu Mare who visited Emmaus Cambridge, said:

The Satu Mare community would not be able to help as many people as they do without the acts of solidarity from organisations such as Emmaus Cambridge.

Mark Boden, Deputy Manager at Emmaus Cambridge, said:

“One of the most important parts of the Emmaus Cambridge ethos is solidarity; working to help someone less fortunate than yourself. Working with Satu Mare provides an extremely valuable experience for our companions as it highlights that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.”

Emmaus Cambridge supports up to 44 people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.