Fatima, Youssouf and their 5 children. 34 and 32 years old. | Youssouf has tears in his eyes when his children recall the nights spent in the streets of Paris, when the municipal humanitarian emergency services had no more room for them. “We didn’t have a blanket, only plastic bags,” recalls Hamou, 11, assuring that he was “not afraid.” Noor, 12, remembers the Utopia 56 organization: “They found families who could take us in.” “Once we stayed with people who had animals! We played with the rabbits and chickens,” says 9-year- old Fathia.
Today, their situation is more stable. Maria, born in 2018, is passed around the courtyard of the former Exelmans barracks, which has been converted into a shelter. The family lives in a two-bedroom apartment. Youssouf can relax a little. He coaches the barracks soccer team. Fatima is training as a florist and the four elder children, who go to school, are categorical: “My favorite house is here at the Aurore organization. There is a kitchen and we can play in the courtyard,” says Noor. “There is hip-hop and French, dancing, and singing classes,” Soraya adds. “I play football.” “And I dance and run middle distance,” Hamou and Fathia add in turn. | Résidence Les Cinq Toits, Paris, France 2019