Being exiled : a misfortune, or one more experience?

By Françoise Moukwa Zegele
Born in the DRC, I divided my youth, during my studies, between Belgium and the Congo.
But in 1987, events forced me to settle permanently in Europe, on my own with five children aged between two and twelve years.

Thus began a real obstacle course for us, which was at times really trying, and I became very conscious of the fact that discrimination affects not only foreigners in general, but more widely all those who belong to visible minorities.

Therefore, I had to fight for our survival. After finding accommodation, which gave us some rights, I decided to enter working life. Armed with my diploma in social work and my professional and personal experience, today I have been working in Brussels for more than twenty years in the struggle against exclusion and poverty, and I take part in reflections about housing, migration and social inclusion. These are the painful problems in the news, which are particularly close to my heart for having lived them out, and which have made me realise the importance of social networks.

I have to say that I did regain my balance, even though I live in a country of refuge. And in everything I do, I try to share my enthusiasm and my joie de vivre. I no longer feel that my migrant status is a misfortune. In any case, I remain convinced that, by including in all projects the notion of integral development, the exile should allow migrants to also have dreams and to live other experiences.

Last modified on Friday, 14 December 2012 15:22
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