Meet The Forum: Francesca

Mentoring Coordinator

[blockquote]I love meeting people, listening to their stories and learning from their experiences. I like keeping in touch with the friends I’ve made through out my life – even if it is never often enough! I value spending time with friends and family and with my husband James and our baby Ernesto. We always seem to have someone staying over at our place! As parents, we would like our child to learn how beautiful it is to welcome people into our home and that our door is always open. [/blockquote]

Where do you live now and where have you lived?
I was born in Italy in a small town called Este where I lived until 2001, when I came to London. After moving many times around London (and away from London for a couple of years) during the past 10 years, I now live (hopefully more permanently!) in South London.

Why are you interested in migration?
I am a migrant myself. While the changes I made to my life because of migration are relatively minor, I find strength in other people’s stories. Their reasons for change, the ways they cope with change and their ideas of what home can mean are very inspiring. Everyone who decides to change where “home” is should be given a chance for a better life. The decision to change “home” and leave behind the things you know is never a simple one, so the reasons must be powerful.

What do you do at MRCF?
I coordinate the mentoring project and manage the volunteers involved. I also like to take my shoes off and walk around the office barefoot!

How did you come to work at MRCF?
I was living in Italy at the time and had decided it was the right moment to move back to London. I was looking for a job that could challenge me and make this big step worthwhile. Three years on and I am still finding challenges, but also a lot of rewards.

What do you think is unique about MRCF?
The passion of all the people who work and volunteer for the organisation. They come together to help give a voice and find equality for the people who come to us.

What issues do you think are most important to
migrants in London?

Migrants are often denied access to the services that the rest of the community takes for granted. If migrants had simple and dignified access to education, health services, employment and even a sense of belonging to the larger community then many of the problems they face would be minimised.

What are you looking forward to in the next year?
I’m looking forward to meeting and working with new volunteers and learning from the experiences of the people who come to MRCF. I am also looking forward to forging stronger relationships with other charities, statutory service providers and professionals and using that to improve the experiences of the people who use our services. Finally, I’m looking forward to having some fun!

[h4]“Migrants are often denied access to the services that the rest of the community takes for granted.”[/h4]

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