About 20 minutes outside of Brussels, exit 8 on the E411, a very small street very recently macadamized leads us to the site of Logis de Louvranges, a real haven of peace. A pretty brick building, this former convent was completely rehabilitated 5 years ago, into a reception center for women and children in the process of obtaining asylum. Meeting with one of the residents.
On the premises, Nathalie Braun, project manager, welcomes us. With her benevolent smile, she knows every resident of the twenty individual dwellings. Today she presents us Solange: of Congolese origin, this mother of two young children arrived here last February after passing through the open center of Holsbeek and a Caritas housing in Ostend.
Her youngest son asleep on his knees, Solange tells us his journey with disarming serenity: “In Congo, I had many problems, that’s why I came here. I underwent an early marriage. At 10, I was forced to marry a man who abused me. “After having attempted to escape, she was threatened by her family.
Orphaned, she had no family to which to turn and eventually fled to Belgium. “Once I arrived, I found myself at the Foreigners’ Office. That’s how I was brought to the open center of Holsbeek. They put me in touch with Caritas International, “says Solange.
Despite a refusal to her first asylum claim, Solange nevertheless remains relatively confident to continue her life, here in Belgium. “I do not want to go back to Congo. There’s nothing for me out there, no family, no work. My lawyer is working on the situation. I await my status with great impatience. We need security and reassurance. ”
She looks forward to the future: Solange will return to live in Ostend, she liked the city, its life, its shops and especially, she sees there many opportunities for hiring, especially as a maid.
Solange is very happy, here at the Logis “the house is clean, the children go to school, and they are cared for if they fall ill,” however, she is also eager to move on to another stage, with papers, a job and a life of her own.