EUU Social Action
The goals of EUU Social Action (SA) are to:
- Foster a culture of social engagement within the EUU;
- Encourage members to find ways to engage in Social Action projects in local, European and global communities;
- Support charitable organizations at existing and new retreat sites through Sunday collection donations collected during retreat weekends;
- Build partnerships based on service with other UU organizations and congregations;
- Serve as a central information platform and networking point for members interested in Social Action;
- Help members share information about and interests in Social Action.
At This Retreat
At the retreat in Dijon, we will collect used eyeglasses and cases. Even broken frames can be used. The glasses will be repaired and sent to Burkina Faso and Egypt, where they can enable people who can’t otherwise get glasses to see better. The project in Egypt is especially for poor school children; the Burkina Faso program is for adults.
Backpacks for Refugees in Brussels and Paris
We will also collect backpacks at the retreat.
The Brussels and Paris Fellowships are collecting backpacks and soft cover attaché cases to help meet the needs of refugees, to carry their most precious papers and other valuable items on their person for safekeeping.
Sunday Collection – La Maison Verte
The offering at Sunday worship will be to benefit La Maison Verte, in Paris.
La Maison Verte hosts the monthly Sunday services of the UU Fellowship in Paris. The organization has a long history of creating and providing support for the local community and underprivileged populations. They have created an open community and space where everyone is welcome.
They regularly host rummage sales, free clothing distribution, professional workshops, literacy classes (particularly for women), and after-school tutoring for kids. La Maison Verte also provides a much-needed service of domicilation for those who have no permanent address or home. They also have 1500 mailboxes for domicilation and they also host movie nights for the deaf and blind.
Like many organizations, La Maison Verte has its financial challenges. This coming year will especially difficult, as they expect a significant budget decrease due to cuts in government funding, so this retreat collection would come at a vital moment for them.
For more information, visit their website: http://blog.lamaisonverte.org/ (in French).
A Culture of Engagement
Social Action starts with the individual. EUU Social Action would like to foster a culture of social engagement and personal development within the EUU, empowering members to find their way to action in their own communities.
One way SA can do this is to coordinate retreat and online workshops around topics of social engagement and intercultural communication. These workshops are by nature specific and participatory, with at least one element that participants can take away and implement at home.
Another important function of the SA is to help socially active members share their experiences through talks at retreats and online, Unifier articles, and maintaining a list of organizations members are currently engaged with.
Through these efforts, SA hopes to network EUU members committed to social action on an individual level to each other and to external organizations, partners and opportunities, helping to create a stronger overall effort. SA hopes to foster continuous dialogue across several platforms, create a support network for members, helping to inspire them to take action.