One summer evening in 2004, Claire Curera was recalling some memories of the period when she fled to Belgium after the devastating genocide in Rwanda. Her heart was full of thankfulness for the new life and the new home she now had in Belgium. As is often the case, her family had arrived one or two at a time over a period of several years, helped by European friends. It is not uncommon for the inhabitants of a host country to have fears and suspicions when faced with an influx of foreigners of another race, with a different language, with different customs and social norms, with no work and “who knows what other hidden surprises”. Such was the experience of Claire and her family, and as a result, it was a struggle for them to find housing and to make even the most superficial acquaintances. Administrative red tape was complicated; the language, legal procedures, and local customs were further barriers in the process of finding a place to live.
As a result of her own experiences, Claire had a clear idea of the obstacles faced by refugees. She remembered with gratitude all the people who helped her and her family along the way, and she had a deep desire to aid refugees seeking to integrate into Belgian life. This thought came to her: « If the Lord gives me the money one day, I’m going to buy a large house, and with it, I’ll provide housing for refugees. »
Years later, in May, 2012, she found herself drawn to an old house with a lot of potential, not far from where she lived. In December 2012, she was able to buy the house, and begin to make her dream a reality. She shared her vision with friends who were willing to work with her to establish a non-profit organization. The primary objective of this non-profit is to welcome and aid refugees in their process of integration in Belgium, and to help them find the means necessary to become fully participating citizens in their adopted country.