One of the most important aspects of the Emmaus ethos is solidarity, working to help others who are vulnerable or experiencing difficulties.
As well as supporting companions to rebuild their lives after homelessness, we show support to other causes, charities and initiatives, and regularly carry out acts of solidarity in our local community.
On Tuesday evenings, Emmaus Dover companions and staff drive out to Folkestone to support people currently living in the town’s streets. Last Tuesday, our companions Ryan, Lawrence and Steve, along with Debbie, our Community Manager, filled the car with rolls, soup, tea, coffee, sleeping bags and tents and drove over to Folkestone. There, they met a group of three men and a lady who sleep on the green and welcomed the food and sleeping bags. The group arranged to return next week to see them again and donate some clothing.
Talking about solidarity work at Emmaus, Steve said: “We’ve got a very unique outlook, we’re a different homelessness charity that gives and gives back, all over the world. We need to shout louder about this, keep that message alive and continue doing the important solidarity work that we do, locally and internationally.”
For the people who complete solidarity actions, it can also bring many personal benefits to their health, wellbeing and understanding of the world. After Tuesday’s Soup run, Debbie, our Community Manager, said: “I really enjoyed spending time giving back – it gives you an inner happiness. For Emmaus companions, giving back is also often key to rebuild feelings of self-worth as they recognise that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the life of others.”
Solidarity also creates waves of kindness as people witnessing solidarity acts can feel inspired to take action themselves. We are grateful to the passer-by who was walking along with his daughter and, upon seeing what we were doing, generously gave us a donation of £10.