"My country of origin, Italy, is a country of migrants. For centuries, poor Italians left their homes to find a better life elsewhere. And they did find it, sometimes on the other side of the world: Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and USA. Yet they always had only one dream, to go back to Italy, build a house and live a decent life among their fellow countrymen.
When I was young, on the contrary, my only dream was to leave Rome, which I felt was so provincial, so narrow-minded, and far away from "real", exciting cities such as Paris, London, and New York; and I never wanted to go back.
I fulfilled my dream, I have studied and lived in Geneva, married a French man, joined the United Nations Organization (where we are all migrants, in a way!), travelled for my job in Africa, Asia and Latin America, got four children who have three mother tongues, and have friends from all over the world.
I have been a migrant all of my life and enjoyed every minute of it, but I don't forget my roots and feel very much Italian - and I try to pass over this sense of belonging to my children, while encouraging them to experience other cultures. I can see it is working, none of my children wish to live where they are born, and they are or will be living in another country. They, too, are or will be migrants!
Being a migrant is being rich; rich of our own culture, values, skills, traditions, and of the cultures, values, skills and traditions of the country that welcomes us. We learn them, we absorb them, we transform them, and we make them better. We are all richer. Migrants are really an opportunity to the world!”