Those Emmaus help (Companions) come off benefits and work full time at the shops which recycle furniture and other household goods. This way they get valuable work experience, new skills and a route into independence. They can also hold their heads up high in the knowledge that they are helping others, helping to support the charity, preventing unnecessary landfill and providing good quality low cost secondhand goods to the public.
Hassan’s grew up in Uganda. His story is a triumph over adversity. He is just one of the many people whom Emmaus has helped.
His dad was shot and killed, as was his older brother. He joined the FDC, wanting to make a difference. As a youth campaigner, he went to rallies and tried to encourage other young people to join.
Whilst campaigning, he was arrested, blindfolded, taken to an Army barracks, beaten up and held in solitary confinement. They held him for another two years and he was regularly tortured. He was made to drink acid, had chillies in his eyes, electric shocks and more.
Then, one day the door opened, Hassan was cleaned up. He then was taken to the airport and was met by an English woman who had his passport. He landed in Kenya, then a plane change, and eventually landed in England.
At the airport, the woman put him in a taxi, paid the driver and told him to take Hassan to Lunar House. He had no idea even why he’d been released and was in the UK.
Physically, the torture had taken its toll. He was moved between detention centres around the country.
He at one point was living out of a skip, but he had some good luck, and found his way to Emmaus.
The staff helped and 4 years later he was given leave to remain status.
He is learning new skills and helping asylum seekers arriving in the UK. Emmaus helped him to get there.
Emmaus have given many people a helping hand to re-build a shattered life.
Emmaus is a community hub. Lots of people from the local area come in for a brew and a chat. They’re part of our Emmaus community and part of the wider community, supporting food banks and community groups.
They have two shops in Oxford – on the Northway estate and in Cowley, selling top quality second-hand furniture and goods.
Emmaus Oxford celebrated its sixth birthday in March 2015. Over the years they provided over 40,000 nights of accommodation to a total of more than 100 homeless people, or people vulnerable to homelessness. Help them to help others, by donating or volunteering.
Related Articles: A Taste of Rough Sleeping