Why did the JOSEFA Foundation appeal to me?

Back in Europe after having lived more than half my life in several countries in Africa and in various activities, I discovered, recently, a very sick France, like other European countries. Most likely sick because of the economic and financial crisis, but mainly sick in their culture: the fear of foreigners and xenophobic exclusions cause people to close themselves off which is dangerous today, and especially for the future.

"The world is changing and so are we, and we need to understand what should be changed deep within ourselves: on the global scale, to make globalization and humanity go hand in hand."[1]

Beyond immediate assistance to migrants, the Josefa Foundation has the ambition to work on this "living together", which is undoubtedly a major challenge of our time.

What interests me is, if I may say, the "angle of attack", namely the successful integration of foreigners in our countries through its various components: economic, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual, in a word encompassing the entire human being. Furthermore, the means chosen, housing, seemed appropriate to me. I say attack because it is actually about fighting against xenophobic tendencies towards which our Western countries are increasingly driven. For me, two major challenges will determine the future of our planet and of humanity: no doubt caring for our physical environment, because if we do not respect nature, it will send us a message reminding us of her strength; but also and especially a fair and equitable coexistence of peoples and individuals. Overcoming fear, greeting each other and welcoming each other, changing the view we have of each other, this is the Josefa approach that appeals to me. The varied multitude of faces, colours, hairstyles, outfits of men and women who crowd our subways every day, an image of our rainbow humanity, amazes me rather than scares me.

This challenge of living together, for me, has a spiritual dimension: it expresses the love of others which is the heart of our faith. Without a doubt, I do not want this inspiration to be put forward in a somewhat exhibitionist manner: no need of a Christian label, since, moreover, the Church has no monopoly on charity. A slight modesty causes me to be discreet in the expression of my faith: not only for tactical or diplomatic reasons, for fear of seeing doors close. I will gladly use an advertising slogan: "what cannot be seen on display lies inside" and a slogan from another era: "to create mystery". The commitments of our lives should question those who see us, like the behaviour of the early Christians, of whom it was said: "See how they love each other". Actions must precede words, which in turn interpret them, comment on them and give them meaning. For too long, it was the opposite and you see the results. And I do not share the current trend of the Church, carried by the so-called "new evangelization", which is mostly concerned with its visibility and its representation in a certain nostalgia for Christendom. I share instead in the aphorism of Monsignor Rouet, former Archbishop of Poitiers: "We are not being asked to be numerous, but to be tasteful." The salt in the food, the yeast in the dough, these are the figures that inspire me and that I find in the process of the Josefa Foundation.


[1]Manifesto of the new Christian Testimony: "You are your brother's keeper." No. 3524 of 03/09/2013. Call for signatures.