What does integration mean?
There is a common misconception behind the word “integration”. Refugees are often expected to completely assimilate into the culture of their host country, which implicitly leads to the loss of aspects related to their own identity. Within the association Jolie Maison, we maintain that integration (from the Latin term integrare: to constitute, or complete, a whole) implies that both sides – members of the welcoming society and refugees – each take a step towards the other.
Everyone is entitled to live in a Jolie Maison!
This mutual exchange can be possible through shared daily spaces, which is still a distant reality for refugees living in isolated centres. In view of this fact, the association Jolie Maison wants to increase the opportunities for exchange between refugees and other inhabitants of Fribourg. And what better way to achieve this than living together in the same flat/house?!
Share the duties and the cultures!
There are many practical advantages to sharing a flat, such as the sharing of duties and fees. However, a flat-sharing experience also brings many other benefits: by sharing a flat, you increase the chances of learning about the other person and about yourself, opening the door for real friendships. The encounter between people coming from different cultural backgrounds creates the possibility to exchange cultures and opinions. Moreover, it creates the possibilities of learning the other’s language, a true hallmark of integration. The possibility for such an enriching living experience is what we mean by the word “joli” (lovely).
The Association Jolie Maison
As an association, we help refugees in Fribourg in the pursuit of flat-sharing, and we also remain at their disposal as contacts and references once they find a home.