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Fatima Parret, director of the reception centre #Emmaus Bussières et Pruns

Fatima Parret, director of the reception centre #Emmaus Bussières et Pruns

How does our education work enable asylum seekers to develop?

What drives me, or drives us, apart from the aspect of supporting people in accessing their rights, is allowing them to take this time at CADA as a respite from life, to rest and learn our language and our customs. This time spent with us at Emmaus CADA allows them to discover French culture, along with offering sports activities and the opportunity to attend cultural events. The time that we dedicate to organising cultural and sporting events is not in vain, quite the opposite. It’s a real investment in the well-being of the children. These regular artistic and musical events enable them to find moments of joy, to meet the local people, to not be constantly thinking about their uncertain and unstable administrative situation, or their painful past. It offers a distraction from everyday life, we can appeal to their feelings, and we give them the chance to enjoy a fun and festive event. Sport also plays an important role in their fragile stability. It enables them to let off steam, to enjoy themselves and to feel good about themselves.  

These moments of sharing allow them to blossom, meaning they have less need to go to the doctor, less need to ask for our help, they live more harmoniously together, get along better with each other and with the people around them. We dedicate time to organising everything, but we also gain a lot of time in providing support and conflict management. The “education” aspect, through French classes and help with their homework, is also key. Those who learn our language, the children who manage to keep up better at school, are naturally more integrated in the society, at school, and are also less isolated, and happier to be part of the host society. This obviously has an impact on their development.