To be honest, the day I visited the Association Pierre Claver in Paris for a reporting trip with my journalism class, I was skeptical: I was unaware of what Claver was, and I thought of it as nothing more than a facility that temporarily provides aids to refugees in need.
However, soon after I stepped into the courtyard of the school on a Saturday morning in October, I realized that I was completely wrong. Claver is a school with a mission. It is a beacon for people far away from home, and a school that teaches how to spread hope.
Visiting Pierre Claver, I did not know what to expect. Maybe that’s why I was so impressed. Although some may say that it is relatively small, with only a few dozen students per session, its size is not proportional to the warmth with which we were greeted.
Not only were we welcomed, but the people there showed us great kindness. And although the refugee students we met and the classrooms we saw seemed to radiate coziness and happiness, I knew that this wasn’t the end of the story. I had a feeling that there would definitely be more meaning to this place.
Therefore, to truly understand the mission of the Association Pierre Claver, and to learn of the refugee crisis from a better perspective, Zirdi and I decided to interview Ayyam Sureau, Claver’s director:
The experience of visiting Pierre Claver was amazing. But talking to Ms. Ayyam, as everyone calls her, was a whole new level of humbling. Not only did I learn more about the refugee crisis and realize that Pierre Claver is much more than just a school, I also received some very wise and insightful advice from Ms. Ayyam.
I spent only three or four hours that Saturday at Claver. But I realized that those few hours would truly impact my life.