Asylum seekers without permanent residence Aicha will have a

Asylum seekers without permanent residence | Aïcha will have a landing pad

“People are so generous! »

Posted at 12:00 p.m


Aïcha*, this 21-year-old homeless asylum seeker about to give birth, has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support since her story was published in La Presse on Thursday.

Dozens of readers have generously offered her a room, shelter, or even amenities for her unborn child.

Starting next week, the young woman will meet a Montreal family who have offered her a small furnished apartment in a central neighborhood near a subway station.

The accommodation is close to that of a family with young children, so Aïcha feels less alone in this city where she doesn’t know anyone.

She and her baby also have access to a five-year follow-up at the Blue House, a perinatal social center not far away.

The culmination of a long journey

Originally from Cameroon, Aïcha fled an abusive spouse with whom she lived in Chile. This man starved her and threw her on the street after learning she was pregnant. At the risk of her life, the young woman then undertook a long and dangerous journey across America to seek asylum in Canada⁠1.

Overwhelmed by the influx of migrants, the Quebec government’s regional program for the reception and integration of asylum seekers (PRAIDA) only took them in for about a month. As soon as she got her first welfare check, she had to leave, even though she was eight months pregnant.

The community, which was also overwhelmed, had nowhere to offer him a place to stay. Only the Alternative Birth Organization helped her by offering a midwifery service. But unable to remain impervious to his distress, two of his laborers took many steps to provide him with a roof.

So she found herself in a small student accommodation where she could not stay after the birth for lack of something better.

The situation caused him great torment.

I am fine now without the stress of not knowing where to go with my daughter when I get out of the hospital.


After giving birth, she must find an immigration lawyer to begin the process of legalizing her status. Her dream is to work in healthcare.

But for now, she needs to regain her strength in time for the birth of her daughter, which is scheduled for February 12. “My journey has exhausted me. And she moves so much! “, she emphasizes and caresses her bulging belly.

An “impressive” solidarity movement

After the report was published in La Presse, the community organization Alternative Birth received dozens of calls and emails with various offers of support. To make it easier to collect donations for Aïcha, two speakers came up with the idea of ​​starting a crowdfunding campaign.

“The spontaneous solidarity movement is impressive,” says its coordinator, Emmanuelle Quiviger. Especially since many other women in this situation have offered their help, knowing full well that Aïcha is not the only one to experience pregnancy in such a precarious context. »

*Aïcha is a fictional first name, but her story is not. The asylum seeker asked for anonymity because she feared for her safety because of the domestic violence she had suffered.