Emmaus International

As a member of Emmaus International, each year the Abbé Pierre Foundation funds a whole host of international solidarity projects. In 2015, the Foundation joined forces with Emmaus International to fund projects aimed at improving the accommodation offered by Emmaus associations on 4 continents. This week, we head to Peru.

Since 1992, the Abbé Pierre Foundation for the Housing of the Underprivileged has worked across France, continuing Abbé Pierre’s struggle to ensure access to decent housing for all. It provides accommodation and guidance to people in difficulty and calls upon policy-makers to shoulder their responsibilities regarding access to housing. Every year, the Foundation also earmarks a significant portion of its budget to the funding of international projects.
In 2015, the Abbé Pierre Foundation and Emmaus International worked together to identify and fund projects aimed at improving the accommodation offered by Emmaus associations in Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

AMERICA, Peru  > Building a living space

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The Emmaus association of San Agustín (Peru) is home to companions aged between 18 and 40. At both of the association’s sites in Lima and Comas, the companions’ main activity is bric-à-brac. The companions collect, sort, repair and then sell abandoned items. The association boasts welding, electronics, bicycle-repair and carpentry workshops, all of which also offer basic training to the young people in the community.

No full-time living community currently exists on the Comas site. A night security guard and two companions stay at the community from Monday to Friday. In 2014, male and female toilet blocks were built on the first floor, and two bedrooms for two companions were built on the second. The garage serves as a kitchen, a canteen and a living room. It is covered with an asbestos roof, harmful to both companions’’ health and the environment. Moreover, a number of companions left the site, as it did not provide premises which allowed a living community to thrive, despite the fact that companions travelled a long way to receive training.

151027 fap emmaus sanagustin 2In order to remedy this situation, the project financed by the Abbé Pierre Foundation involves the construction of two bedrooms with space for two companions each, a third bedroom for people staying at the site on a temporary basis, toilets and a shower.

The project will also see the construction of a kitchen and dining room in order to encourage communal living. In addition to improving companions’ quality of life, the association hopes to foster a real sense of community on the site, encourage new companions to join the community, and enhance security in order to avoid theft.