Life at the Josefa House

On several occasions, I wanted to take a pen (or a keyboard) and share the wealth of experience that living at the Josefa House has brought me over the past year. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to describe the intensity of my experience and my gratefulness for this year spent among other "migrants"...

If, in October, 2016, I shyly settled in at the Josefa House, it was with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart that, one year later, I left to pursue other adventures.

I had decided to live there because the year before I had heard about this "notion" of "migrants, all of us" and became familiar with it during an internship at the Josefa Foundation, and I was curious to experience it first-hand. If choosing to live with "refugees" might seem for some people a worthy or even heroic act, in reality this experience of living together and coexisting was extremely enriching and, in the end, so natural.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Josefa Foundation for the vision which it relentlessly defends. Thanks to this vision, encouraging mutual sharing and meeting without labelling, I spent a tremendous year at the Josefa House. I was not asked to take on the role of social worker, language teacher, or any other role in order to help with the planning of its activities or with the integration of "refugees"; all that was asked of me was simply to come as I am and nothing more. I met the other residents of the Josefa House in this way too, whether they came from Syria, Iraq, France, Belgium, or anywhere else. It is this approach that intensified each encounter I made, that allowed me to bond with others and create friendships despite the language or cultural barriers.

I remember the weekends by the sea, drinking maté, the Monday suppers, the girls' nights out, sharing with others my joys and sorrows, the parties, the garden and Zoé the cat, the children’s smiles, playing foosball… For all these moments, Gilbert, Annabelle, Hussein, Ayham, Waleed, Attaa, Joyce, Zyad, Guillaume, Jessica, Anosone, Maïté, Lina, Hussam, Jacques, Hussein, Marie, Sigrid, Valérie, Patricia and all the others, I can only say thank you!


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