Emmaus International

With the 2016 world assembly just a few weeks away, we take a look back at four world assemblies that have made a big impact on Emmaus International’s history. This week, 2003 World Assembly in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso): "Speaking out and acting together".

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“We held the world assembly in Africa for the very first time”, explains Véronique Ghanih, the leader of Emmaus Tohouè (Benin).

The decentralisation process was launched in 2003 and led to the current four Emmaus regions being created.

The closing statement underlined that throughout the world, people are suffering as a result of not having access to their fundamental rights. “We organized a march to protest against the policies of exploitation and impoverishment imposed by the countries in the developed world. Abbé Pierre insisted on completing the entire route in his wheelchair despite being tired”, she remembers.

The assembly adopted three priority areas – access to water, ethical finance and migrants’ rights – with collective activism on these issues beginning. “The areas that we are still working on today stem from this assembly”, reiterates Véronique.