• Flavia: Finding Trust

    Flavia knows where to find a Villo station to drop off my rented city bike. I follow her from Brouckère, where we met up, to the Bourse. We introduce ourselves on the way there. The interview was planned for March 22, but on that day a storm of insanity hit the city. Now, two days later, we see the people of Brussels mourning in front of the (…)
  • Journeys of Hope #4

    Refugees who face a terrifying journey to seek life over death deserve praise for their courage. This came to me powerfully in recent weeks when I met so many travelling the Balkan route to find asylum in Europe. And especially when I listened to Qusai, who needed an extra dose of courage to make the risky choices he did, despite his unique (…)
  • Journeys of Hope #3

    "No one even listens to the story behind." With these words, Iva, a young Croatian woman who works for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), neatly summed up the most glaring concern in Europe’s so-called refugee crisis. Since the number of refugees coming to Europe, mostly via Greece, rose sharply last year, there has been a growing trend to stem (…)
  • Journeys of Hope #2

    The photo was no bigger than the palm of my hand, the formal portrait of an Afghan family of seven. The distraught father took the photo from his wallet with shaking fingers, and placed it in my hands together with his wife’s ID card. Only the man and one of his sons, aged about eight, made it to Serbia, where I met them at a transit centre (…)
  • Journeys of Hope #1

    It is their sheer relief and hope that are most striking... more than their foolhardy courage, the dangers and deprivations of their journey, and their terrible experiences. It seems to me that as soon as they set foot on the shores of Europe, many refugees feel freedom is finally theirs for the taking: freedom from fear, from repression, (…)