In the State of Bahia in north-eastern Brazil, Emmaus Novos Alagados is situated right in the heart of a favela of homes built on stilts — which is currently undergoing urbanisation. The favela is home to more than 25 000 people from poor backgrounds, half of whom are unemployed.
The group started its activities in 1977. Through the work of ragpickers, the group's mission is to help transform society alongside the poorest. In November 2011, the group decided to join the Emmaus Movement after the latter was introduced to them during a companion visit.
Today, the group collects, recovers, sorts and sells objects through its bric-a-brac. These economic activities allow the group to fund social and educational initiatives. The group brings dignity and provides comfort to people welcomed into the community, regardless of their sex, origin or religious beliefs. The group receives children, teenagers, single mothers, the elderly, ill people and victims of abuse or discrimination, and offers them help that is rooted in work and fraternity.
Emmaus Novos Alagados is part of the struggles for social and environmental justice and the ethical and solidarity economy led by Emmaus International.