A Cameroonian will tell Pope Francisco, during his meeting with the emigrants during his visit to Rabat on Saturday, his migration journey to the Maghrebi country, representing the tens of thousands of people who stayed in Morocco on their truncated trip to Europe.
This act constitutes one of the stages of the busy schedule of the Pope's two-day visit to Morocco, which will have a marked character of interreligious dialogue.
About 30 years old and single, the Cameroonian will speak in French before the Pope in the presence of another sixty emigrants of different sexes and ages from several sub-Saharan countries, tells Efe Fanny Curet, coordinator of the Migrants Program at Cáritas Rabat.
Without giving details about his identity, Curet limited himself to stressing that this man, who lives in the city of Meknes (center), is currently working in the Catholic NGO, after being regularized in one of the two phases of the Moroccan migratory process, which since 2013 has made it possible to legalize the situation of 50,000 people, most of them sub-Saharan.
The act with the emigrants will take place in the modest headquarters of Cáritas in Rabat, which today was cleaned and painted in a hurry and which is two steps from the emblematic Torre Hasán, in whose esplanade the Argentine pope will deliver a speech next to the king Mohamed VI.
Before the Cameroonian, will take the floor the Archbishop of Tangier, the Spanish Santiago Agrelo, known for his intense commitment to the cause of migrants, to then step into the words of Francisco, who will speak in Spanish from a humble lectern pulpit
The visit of the Pope to Caritas "is for us an honor and an acknowledgment of our work, and it is also a logical visit knowing the message that the pontiff transmits on the subject of emigration," Curet stressed.
The emigration constitutes one of the focal points of interest of the visit of the holy father, who in his audiovisual message that he transmitted yesterday on the eve of his trip recognized the opportunity he will have to find the emigrants, who for him "represent a call to build together a more just and supportive world ".
Morocco has become in 2017 and 2018 an obligatory crossing point in the most important migration route between Africa and Europe, which has resulted in a rebound in foot traffic in the Strait (almost 89,000 irregular emigration attempts aborted by Morocco in 2018).
This migratory pressure has brought new challenges to Caritas: "We are witnessing a progressive precarization of the profile of the migrant in Morocco," deplored Curet, and this due to the Moroccan police's campaigns to expel the irregular migrants stationed near Ceuta and Melilla towards the inner cities of the country.
If in recent years, thanks to the process of Moroccan regularization, migrants needed assistance in issues related to housing, schools or health, now, due to the rebound in their number, Caritas has gone to meet more basic needs, such as food, clean clothes or a shower.
In addition, among those who arrive in Cáritas "there are more and more women, more sick and more minors, some only 10 or 12. They are badly called 'unaccompanied minors', because in reality they are badly accompanied," Curet reflects.
In 2018 alone Caritas served more than 8,000 new emigrants, who they prefer to call "people in transit", "if only to return the name of people."
Curet insists that the work of the NGO is not to prevent or encourage these people to continue their journey to Europe or settle in the country, and less to try to win them for Catholicism, but to apply the values of the Church to try to help those in need.
As Jesus Christ said in the Gospel of St. Matthew: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you picked me up, I was naked and you covered me, sick and you visited me."
By Fatima Zohra Bouaziz