"I'm originally from Mombasa, Kenya. I decided to move to Rwanda to set up an office here. When I first came, I didn’t know anyone, which meant starting my new life from scratch; looking for a place to live and making new friends in order to settle in. Luckily I was able to find my way, and before I knew it I was fully focused on what I came to do.
Migrating was definitely a challenge, and having to leave behind familiar surroundings, my friends and my family (especially my sister), was difficult. One must really be prepared mentally and emotionally, for this change. However, I can sincerely say it has been worth it. The experience has been very positive; I have made a lot of friends and, following on the principle that tells us “home is where the heart is,” I am now able to say that I am home.
Meeting people with diverse mindsets has helped me to appreciate the ways someone with a different background can enrich your life, and it has enabled me to get in contact with what is beyond our frontiers. Now, when I go back to Kenya, I bring with me lots of positive experiences, lessons learned, and new thoughts that I have gotten from this cultural exchange. It has been a mind-opener.
For people that are thinking about migrating (in a regular and safe way), I would tell them to be up for the challenge. It takes a lot out of you when you make the decision to move to another country, so be ready and aware that you never know what might come. You might be surprised by how easy you can adapt, and along the way, you might meet amazing people who will help you find your footing.
For the people living in a country that is receiving migrants, just remember to treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Today it is them moving to your country, tomorrow it might be you moving to theirs.
There is a misperception of migrants that presumes that they go to a country just to take, when the reality is, everybody has something positive to give, and we can always learn from each other."