Emmaus Meetings in Ukraine

The Community “Emmaus – Oselya” is a member of the Emmaus International Movement. Structurally, the movement is divided into continents, where the “Emmaus” groups operates. “Emmaus – Oselya” is part of “Emmaus Europe”.  As the only Emmaus organization   in Ukraine, “Emmaus-Oselya” represents Ukraine, including its activity and other initiatives to help homeless people in Ukraine, at regional meetings of the Emmaus Europe, which take place twice a year. The National Delegate from Ukraine is a member of the Emmaus Europe Regional Council.

Within the regional structure of “Emmaus-Europe” there are Collectives. These are working groups open to all the Emmaus Movement’s stakeholders across the region. The Collectives are consultation forums which generate ideas, while also implementing Emmaus Europe’s recommendations. Our organization is a part of the Poland – Ukraine Collective which includesas well the Emmaus groups from the cities of Rzeszow, Lublin, Krakow, Nowy Sącz. The Collective has the specific end goal of arranging solidarity initiatives with the aim of being transparent and securing their long-term future. Meetings of the Collective occur twice a year, either in Poland, or in Ukraine. Besides Polish and Ukrainian communities, guests from other “Emmaus” communities come to the meeting too.


“Oselya” hosted the Collective for the first time in April 2009. The next meetings in Ukraine were held in November 2011, November 2014 and March 2017. They were attended by the members of the Collective and representatives from the Emmaus communities from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Finland and the United Kingdom – a total of about 30 people. “The Community of Mutual Aid “Nasha khata” participate in the meetings as partner organization of “Emmaus”. The participants discuss further activities aimed at helping the homeless people, activities in the area of used goods recycling and solidarity projects.


In October of 2013 Regional Council Meeting of Emmaus Europe took place in Ukraine for the first time. 16 national delegates from different countries where Emmaus communities operates participated in the meeting (France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Ukraine). Total number of participants was 35 including 12 Councilors, President of Emmaus Europe Julio De La Granja and President of Emmaus International Jean Rousseau.

The meeting of the Emmaus Europe Regional Council aims to promote and monitor the development of Emmaus organizations in the European region and is responsible for implementing the strategic goals and objectives of the World Assembly. During the Meeting that lasted for 3 days we discussed the development of Emmaus organizations in Europe and. Emmaus organizations are struggling for the rights of the poorest society members, they organize solidarity actions, provide humanitarian support, cooperate with local authorities and spread the philisiphy of Emmaus.

Within Emmaus Europe Regional Council meeting a round table discussion “From homelessness towards work, home and solidarity” took place on October 11, 2013 in Lviv city council. The goal was to present the approach of Emmaus Movement to the Ukrainian participants, and to present the activities of social services organizations in Ukraine to the international delegation.

Round table speakers: President of Emmaus Europe Julio De La Granja, President of Emmaus International Jean Rousseau, Director of the Department of Humanitarian Issues of Lviv City Council Oleh Bereziuk, Head of the Department of Social protection of population of Lviv Natalia Fedorovych, responsible for Oselya community Olesya Sanotska, companion of Oselya Community Albina Mykhnevych. Other Emmaus representatives, representatives of the State Ministry of Social  Affairs, local NGOs took part in the round table. After the round table discussion Emmaus representatives gave press conference to the local mass media. Afterwards all the participants had the solidarity lunch with homeless and poor people  in the park in downtown. The lunch was financed by Lviv City Council and served by volunteers from state social services and Oselya. There were 350 people having lunch together. This meeting at lunch was very meaningful and symbolized main idea of Emmaus – meeting of people that lost will for life with those that feel responsible for injustice in this world.