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The migratory question today...


On Saturday, November 17th 2018, was held in Saint Brieuc, France, the annual day organized by the group "Justice, non-violence, integrity of the creation" of the province France-Belgium-Holland devoted to the migratory issues of today: Understanding, by coming back on history, by confronting the official texts with the facts, by taking the measure of the initiatives of the associations… To Act, in justice and fraternity, whilst acknowledging the laws and rules in force, to take "a step aside", to initiate a change of mentalities and legislative provisions… to find where is the justice and the accuracy of an initiative even risking an audacious approach.                          Despite the road blocks decided that day, 41 people were present out of the 46 registered.

"Wherever they go, they are sad at the party. Wherever they go… they are alone in their head… I want to sing for those who are far from home and who have in their eyes something that hurts, that hurts…". This song written by Michel Berger, sung for the migrants of Calais, opened the day; it is still echoing in us… We knew a little of the speaker,  Ms Céline Dumont, a research professor in linguistics, member of the Cimade (association working in active solidarity with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers) and a volunteer in many activities regarding migrants; few days prior to that meeting, several participants were eager to reread, in "La Colombe" (review of the congregation-2018, n°52) her testimony: "20 years with migrants. A birth that marks forever."

This Saturday, we had the chance to see her, to hear from her, to directly receive her testimony as a committed women, a speech given with clarity and simplicity, with disinterest and humility; we were sensitive to her way of relating her experiences of unprecedented situations that she takes into consideration at anytime! As a linguist, in a concrete and pedagogical way, she denounced the confusion brought about by words that can by tricky or misunderstood, such as the terms of: Migrants (emigrants/immigrants), Asylum (right to asylum, asylum seeker), Refugees, Foreigners, "Undocumented migrants"... From her rich experiences, told with clarity and accuracy, emerges her will to fully understand each situation before acting, to provide tangible solutions to confusing or controversial issues raised. Through video links, she made us listen to other voices which clarified, when needed, her lecture, a testimony earning our admiration. Throughout the day, we felt, thanks to her competence, the necessity to make quite clear the complexity of the particular situations in which the migrants are immersed, before finding solutions with them and for them, enabling tailor-made solutions for each individual.

Echoes of participants: -"In my regular approach to migrants, I improved some of my knowledge and I especially appreciated the extraordinary testimony of Céline on current issues" -"She gives us the opportunity of seeing things in a different perspective with new eyes, by the heart and the reason, to properly reconsider the situation so as not to remain within the emotion". -"What most appealed to me, says another participant, It's to remain vigilant in maintaining the respect of the person and the respect of the laws in force equally. But to what extent?"

To Céline, from all of us, a very fraternal thanks!              It is with great emotion that we learned at the very end of the day that Céline knew Marie-Louise Thépaut!

Sister Marie-Thérèse Héliès FSE - Published November 21, 2018

Below: - The link on YouTube For Michel berger's song   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC9Y8U-31KE



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