Hi, my name’s Gianantonio (Toni for short!) and I have been hosting a delightful brother and sister, Amanuel and Minas, two Eritreans who lived in the Sudan. I must say that I am so pleased to have made the decision to host and have been so very fortunate to have had these two lovely people living with me and my elderly mother. Both have been very considerate, especially to the needs of my mother who is 90 years old and failing both physically and mentally in limited ways. This hasn’t however prevented my mother (known as ‘Nonna’ i.e. grandmother in Italian) from teaching Minas to crochet! I think both have benefitted mutually from that.
Both Minas and her brother Amanuel have assisted in the daily chores and we have exchanged cooking traditions (Italian and Eritrean) with each other. Minas loves to watch me cook and has picked up some great recipes for future use! Without even asking, Amanuel goes outside to collect the logs and tops up the log store in the lounge for our evening fire which is very cosy in these cold evenings.
As practising Catholics, we attend mass every Sunday. Minas and Amanuel are Coptic Christians and enjoy coming with us to share our faith together.
I have five children who have all left home now so it is really lovely to have two young people the same age as my children staying with me.
Meal times are enjoyed together and the evenings are generally spent watching tv -with Minas favouring comedies and Amanuel adventure (Minas will soon fall asleep if Amanuel gets his choice of films!)
Minas and Amanuel have now moved into their own apartment and I have helped to furnish it with two single beds which I had stored in my shed, and two double settees that my daughter recently replaced. A good tidy up of my house also produced a few more kitchen items to help them on their way. A neighbour of ours also gave them a very large tv!
So to summarise, my first experience hosting has been a very pleasant one and I would encourage anyone who has an open house and open heart to accept refugees into their home – not only will they benefit greatly, but it will enrich your life too!
If you’re interested in the opportunity to open your house to someone who would really benefit from your support, visit https://www.roomforrefugees.com/ for more information.