Emmaus Finland - Helka Ahava – Mäkelänkatu 54 A – SF-00510 – Helsinki
National delegate: Helka Ahava (Emmaus Helsinki)
Member organisations: 5
Trial members: 1
Starting in 1959, a small group of Finns began supporting the work of Swedish organisation, Swallows, in India and Peru. In 1964, Birgit and Rurik Rancken set up Swallows in Ekenäs in south west Finland. They selected and prepared volunteers for the work in India and Peru, and organised discussions and provided information about the third world.
Gérard Protain, a French priest committed to his work with the Emmaus rag-pickers in Lima, was ex-pelled from Peru in 1962 as the authorities judged his work and views subversive. He went back to Fin-land and helped set up the Emmaus Helsinki community in 1966, with Marita Uunila and the Friends of Emmaus. Students and adults worked together to help people living on the streets, organise collection work and manage the second-hand shops. Guy Barbier took over the community the following year. The community then took part in discussions prior to and during the first Emmaus International general assembly in Berne, in 1969.