From a change of outlook to "all of us, migrants"

In the first years of the Josefa Foundation, the watchword was: "a change of outlook" in particular on this new population which was beginning to migrate, from everywhere, and which the news called "migrants"

It will gradually evolve towards a new call which was however present from the start: "all of us, migrants". Some quotes gleaned over the years shed light on this initial choice and this evolution.

From August 28, 2012, almost a year after its creation, the appeal to donors calls for this change of outlook, including on finance: “If I bring my stone to the Josefa building, I take an active part in its construction, I change my view of migration, I take part in the life of the other, of the foreigner through my welcoming contribution, I provide funding and I receive in return a property certificate or tax deduction; I take responsibility for all or part of the lodging expenses of a refugee resident or a fellow citizen. If I wish, I can also reflect on the issues of migration, housing, and integration, and possibly change my perspective, or even make a fair tax contribution to better grow together."

A few weeks later, on October 15, 2012, the foundation expressed itself clearly: "Our cantus firmus: a conversion of our outlook"… "Its mission: since mid-2015, the Josefa House has been aiming to change our outlook on our migrations. The originality of the Josefa House program... is shown in the involvement of all of us, resident beneficiaries, refugees or other citizens of the world not affected by forced migration, as contributors, socio-economic or financial partners. We are all committed to building a peaceful and sustainable "living together", by inviting ourselves, at the heart of our society, to a change in our way of looking at each other".

The call to contributors was renewed the following year, October 1, 2013: "By contributing to the Josefa Foundation, we therefore share a vision and a mission related to the welcoming of refugees, within the Josefa House, which we will build together. The challenge lies in the change of perspective towards migrants. This perspective is renewed when we accept, deep within ourselves, that every man is a potentially vulnerable migrant”.

On March 20, 2014, the foundation reiterated its ambition: "Forced migration, as a restricting event, can be the source of a change of attitude or perspective in the face of the world... This is our challenge at Josefa, to invite ourselves to a change of perspective, on each other, of each one on the world and its continents, and to amend or give up the tools used to measure "development" the Western way. By means of a mutual welcome and of an agreement on the need for co-integration, the Josefa House aims to be, in its own way, an actor of this societal change".

That challenge was revived at the end of the year, on October 12, by the situation itself: "To date, the news in the Middle East, the influx of migrants on European, especially Italian, shores, and in Calais, the growing diversity in the population of European cities, like Brussels, these are situations, among many others, that call for a change in our perception of migration and migration flows, particularly in Europe... Therefore, by way of proposal or inquiry, it seems that following the leaders of many religious faiths, and many political figures, in cooperation with the many stakeholders working for a new European approach on migration, we have to rise up to the challenge of promoting a significant change in perception, then in attitude”.

Leaving the Josefa House, a trainee expresses her gratitude on December 15, 2015: “Thank you Josefa, for opening this change in the way we regard migration and thank you for this collaboration within a joyful, human, professional and motivated team!”

On March 17, 2016, the foundation specifies that even the organization of the space invites this change: “The space (which will be the heart of the Josefa House, namely the place of prayer and meditation) is intended to be welcoming to those who cross the threshold of the Josefa House, whether they are residing there or receiving a service (catering, medical or cultural); it is a proposal to change our outlook on our migrations, for our conversion as migrants”.

Finally, on March 18, 2019, it’s always the same old story: "The time has come to change the way we look at our migrations: it is our responsibility, to each and every one of us, to you and me, for future generations."

The very vision of the Josefa Foundation is evolving and is getting formulated in another way which was already present at its origin. By including everyone in the migration, "all of us, migrants", the change of perspective is extended both to each person and to the totality of each person taken in their uniqueness. On March 19, 2018, the Foundation formulated its vision as follows: "The "All of us, migrants" proposal comes from a holistic approach: a physical, psycho-intellectual and spiritual one. Josefa wants to challenge each of us to the extent of our migrant-being. Josefa favours the cultural and faith-based dimensions attached to our migrations; it invites us to change the way we see ourselves before judging others (the "migrants"), and thus to change our political and legislative language: "all of us, migrants", so as to avoid migration-related discriminatory practices”.

As we can see, the change of outlook has not disappeared: it has been extended to the political field and deepened in each person. Reinforced by the old-new slogan "all of us, migrants", it is similar to the quote from Paul VI in Populorum Progressio: "To be authentic, development must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man".

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 16:44
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