Tiglin – Mustafa

“I came from a challenging background, and I am grateful to Ireland for providing me with the opportunity to start over. Upon receiving my refugee status, I was sent to a hotel in the city centre where I live now. The following day, I went for a walk with another refugee from Yemen, who showed me the Lighthouse. Inside, people were chatting, and the atmosphere was very welcoming. We enjoyed tea and sandwiches, and I immediately felt at home. Assisting others is an integral part of my identity. As a member of the Berber ethnicity, in Algeria, with its distinct cultural heritage, people naturally help each other more. When a Berber has bread, they always share half of it with others. Luckily, one of the workers there spoke Arabic, so I began to ask questions, hoping to be given something to do. I was eager to help, so I returned every day for a week, asking if there was anything I could do to help. The people who worked at Lighthouse behaved more like a family rather than a hierarchical structure. I wanted to be surrounded by these people, so I began volunteering to repay the kindness I received from Ireland. I have been volunteering there full-time for four months now, and despite my limited English, I try my best to make people feel welcome. I receive €38 every week from the government, which I collect from the post office. Some argue that it is insufficient, while others can manage. I always spend it all in one day. In Algeria, displaying money on the streets is not favored, so we frequently exchange money with a handshake. I do the same thing here. I search for people in need and give them €5 here €10 there. I am not accustomed to spending money on myself. I already have everything I need. I am secure, have a roof over my head, and have access to sufficient food. I am happy to be safe.”