Integration

 

The Belgium we created, has to promote the integration of the welcoming ones.

 

In 1996 we emigrated to Belgium, more specifically Etterbeek.

 

From the moment we arrived, we file an asylum application and 6 months later we were rejected. As a result, we suddenly lost the refugee status, we were illegal.

 

I was only 8 years old and did not understand everything, but i felt that our life has changed.

 

Being clandestine meant that we had no access to health care, no access to food aid, and we could not sign a contract for water, electricity or gas.

 

Later we met a lady via word-of-mouth, sister Jeannine Solé.

 

This lady helped us with our integration and my academic success. She was the example of the hospitable Belgium, Belgium that accepted everyone. Through the years she became a member of our family. She was just as worried as we were about finding a job and how to survive. She was also grandmother who spoiled us with gifts during celebrations like Christmas.

 

By telling my personal story I want to point the importance of immigration, but I am also aware that we can not invite everybody. We always have to remember that some Belgians are the immigrants of the past, just like my family.

 

That’s why I want to campaign with projects and integration in our municipality.