By Bénédicte Wonganombe 

Feeling at home means joy, peace of mind, and a full heart. It’s being with family, it’s happiness, it’s life in harmony. Home shelters us from bad weather that can harm us both in our physical and mental health. All living beings yearn for a calm, serene, joyful environment that will allow them to be productive, and useful to the community, and society. 

But sometimes we are forced to leave our natural environment, to immigrate elsewhere in search of another place to try and make into a home. This is a huge challenge, and can bring serious moral or psychological consequences, which sometimes lead to death, maybe through suicide. 

Forced immigration resembles the marriage of a young girl forced into matrimony with a husband she has not had the chance to meet beforehand. Sometimes the husband will suit the girl, and then home will be radiant and beneficial for her. She will feel safe, because she will find love and compassion. But sometimes the husband will drive her precipitously into a grave. 

There are so many stories of people crossing into a new land, not knowing what the future will bring. There was Caesar, who crossed the Rubicon, and is fabled to have said, “Alea iacta est,” or “The die is cast.” Or there is the story of Moses in the Bible, crossing the Red Sea, in search of the promised land – looking for home, after his people had come very close to death.  

Feeling at home has no borders, and no limits. We can find home anywhere in the world, and should be able to do so with people of any race or skin color. Humans should override their differences in favor of living together, so we can all feel happy on earth. In a world like that, the word “immigrant” with all its derogatory associations, would not exist!