A three-story house in Deusto (Bilbao), once full of sisters, which now had half of its space left over. A Vedruna vocation with a desire for more, “with a lack of air”, with a “need” to share “on another level”. Why not put together a new project? Asked Sister María José Laña to the rest.
She then came to Bilbao Teo Corral, back after several years in different countries in Africa and with young migrants in Ceuta. She, too, dreamed of living in a house with doors open to migrants like the ones she had just left behind. "Not a foster home, a center," he clarifies, "but an area in which we welcome and be welcomed, an agile community with little structure".
In January 2020, Fática, from Morocco, and Estrella, from Equatorial Guinea arrived. And shortly after, Virginia, a young woman who had worked in Ceuta with Teo Corral and who had moved to Bilbao for work. She needed accommodation for a few weeks, and she found herself becoming the first volunteer in this intercultural women's house.
They signed an agreement with the Lagun Artean Reception Center in Bilbao, which sends women to them in the final stage of their process of living independently. It is not about completing the intervention, Teo Corral clarifies. “Ours is something else, we have stayed with the beautiful part: being family with them. I am a social worker and I do that work with other people, but at home we have another type of relationship ”. A relationship model similar to the one that would be reproduced shortly thereafter in the Antonio Machado Vedruna Community of Madrid, another foster home
“I would love if there were many communities that did it, because it is something easy, it only requires a willingness to share. Now that there is such a need, many communities could do it, ”adds Corral.
The great challenge is: "How to build a situation of equality, establish family ties?" She asks herself. "It is about doing all a learning process, without us being the bosses", but all "co-responsible." In fact, although most of the income comes from María José's teacher's salary and Teo's income, all women contribute according to their possibilities.
Another objective is that the project does not close in on itself, but rather that there is a “sense of citizenship” and an active involvement in the face of environmental problems. The idea is to make the house a meeting place for many people. The pandemic, for now, has forced to put the brakes on, but the proposal is on the table.