Whatever the country, the origin of an Emmaus group is almost always the result of an initiative by local people to respond to local needs by mobilising local resources and knowledge; never a project imposed from outside.
Emmaus groups are autonomous entities, which may have different statuses depending on the country. They belong to a national organisation when one exists (when the country has more than three member groups) and to Emmaus International, an organisation set up in 1971 by Abbé Pierre to structure the movement.
The Emmaus movement is made up of 4 regions: Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
In Africa, there are 15 member organisations of the Emmaus movement present in 9 sub-Saharan African countries. They develop actions in favour of young people, women and rural populations and act for the respect of people's rights, particularly women's rights and against child trafficking (child workers, child soldiers...).
Some groups benefit from containers of goods from European Emmaus groups, an international solidarity action advocated by the movement.
In America, the 32 member organisations are present in 9 countries, mostly in South America. Social actions are mainly aimed at children, young people and families living in poverty. The focus is on education, training, hygiene, health and nutrition.
This region also benefits from the Containers solidarity programme coordinated by Emmaus International.
In Asia, there are 7 member organisations present in 3 countries in South Asia and the Middle East. Their action is very diverse, and organic farming plays an important role.
In Europe, the 310 member organisations are present in 16 countries. France, the origin of the Emmaus movement, is the country with the most groups: 288 in total. These are divided into "branches": community branch, social action & housing branch and solidarity economy & integration branch. The other countries have simplified structures.
There are three geographical collectives in Europe: South-East Europe Collective, Poland/Ukraine Collective and Romania Collective. These are consultative spaces that permit the organisation of solidarity and support the groups present in these collectives that do not have national organisations.
Like the Containers programme at international level, there is a solidarity programme for intra-European transport, coordinated by Emmaus Europe, which enables the region's resources to be shared.
Emmaus Iasi participates in this programme and is a partner of Swiss, French, German and English groups, among others.
Emmaus International and Emmaus Europe are composed of elected representatives and employees. The Emmaus International Board and Executive Committee are composed of councillors elected for a 4-year term of office from the 4 Emmaus regions, who are supported by staff teams (the secretariats). Leïla Thouret, who is in charge of the marauds at Emmaus Iasi, was elected as an Emmaus International Councillor and also a member of the Emmaus Europe office.
The Regional Council of Emmaus Europe (Executive Board) is made up of the 12 Councillors of Emmaus International Europe, the President of Emmaus Europe and the National Delegates of each country in which there is an Emmaus group. Gelu Nichitel, director of Emmaus Iasi, is the national delegate for Romania.