Emmaus International

How it all works

Emmaus International is a federation of 425 organisations in 41 countries around the world. Depending on their activities, they fall into different categories – there are communities where companions work and may also live*, volunteer committees (also known as friends’ committees), and a variety of other types.
To get an idea of the diversity of Emmaus’s activities worldwide, go to the Emmaus around the world section.
Each Emmaus International member is an independent organisation. In France they are mostly registered under the French law of 1901. If there are three or more organisations in a country, they are also members of their national organisation. In France for example, Emmaus organisations are members of Emmaus France. In Brazil, they're members of Emmaus Brazil.

In addition, Emmaus organisations are grouped into four global regions – Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

LKnown as “companions”, people who have experienced social exclusion work and sometimes also live together as part of an Emmaus community. Companions collect, restore and sell goods donated to the community. The income generated by this activity keeps the community up and running.


Emmaus International is a movement made up of local-level organisations, which are grouped together into decentralised levels. Every four years, the member organisations meet for their world assembly where each is each entitled to a vote. The assembly elects the chair.

Elected members from the four global regions sit on the board and executive committee of Emmaus International. Some decisions are therefore made by the regional organisations.
At both international and regional levels, the elected bodies (the board and executive committees) set the movement’s strategic direction. They are supported by staff (secretariats).   
If there are three or more member organisations in a country, a national organisation can be set up. The national organisations are also supported by staff, and have their own governing bodies that set guidelines for the national level. They elect a national delegate who sits on the regional board.

Emmaus is a decentralised movement – decisions are made at the different levels and as closely to the member organisations as possible (according to the principle of subsidiarity). 


  • Board
  • Executive committee
  • International secretariat, Montreuil


Emmaus Africa


  • Regional board
  • Regional executive committee
  • Regional secretariat, Ouagadougou
Emmaüs Amérique


  • Regional board
  • Regional executive committee
  • Regional secretariat, Montevideo


Emmaüs Asie


  • Regional board
  • Regional executive committee
  • Regional secretariat, Pondicherry
Emmaüs Europe


  • Regional board
  • Regional executive committee
  • Regional secretariat, Montreuil


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