(07 April 2017) – Six months ago, Christine Lekeu volunteered to support a family of Syrian refugees in Belgium. Her story is one of altruism coming face to face with the realities of refugee integration support in Europe.
Originally from Damascus, the Barzani family belongs to the Syrian Kurdish minority. The father arrived alone in Belgium in 2015. He was joined six months later in 2016 by his wife and their four very young daughters. In both cases, the journey was done on foot, through Turkey, the Greek island of Kos and then the Balkan route.
After a six-month stay at a Red Cross reception centre, the family was granted refugee status and was resettled in Hannut, a rural municipality situated between Liège and Brussels.
After leaving the Red Cross centre, the Barzani family benefited from the help of Live In Color. This citizen-led association found them a “sponsor”, Christine Lekeu, who has since become a good friend. She frankly tells of her experience.