BP19 – WOMEY
Patrick Atohoun (temporary)
+ 229 90 94 67 23
Member organisations: 4
In 1977, Albert Tévoédjrè published La pauvreté, richesse des peuples. He first came into touch with Abbé Pierre in 1978, when the latter asked for permission to publish an extract of his work in Faims et soifs des hommes. This book led to him being invited to speak at Emmaus International’s world assembly in 1984 in Namur, Belgium; this was the start of a long and fruitful friendship with Abbé Pierre and the Emmaus Movement, leading to the creation of Emmaus in Benin in 1988.
In 1989, he and Véronique Gnanih founded the Pan-African Social Prospects Centre in Porto-Novo. The Centre was used as a legal structure for the activity of Emmaus Tohouè, which focused on waste collection and sorting and compost-making, carried out by unemployed young people at risk of falling into delinquency. This marked a new start for Emmaus’ work in Africa, after one previous mission in Rwanda.
Through him three members of the executive committee met Bishop Isidore de Souza, coadjutor of Cotonou, and invited him to stay with the Emmaus community in Montbéliard, France. Captivated, with his faith in mankind renewed, he spoke about his experience all the way to the corridors of the Vatican. In 1991 he created an Emmaus community working in agriculture, called Emmaus Hêvié, which is now based in Pahou.