My Journey

rhania bensafia
Posted November 22, 2015 from United States

I was born and raised in France, in a small town called Roubaix. My parents came from North Africa Algeria. It was a French colony for 130 years .Because of the war they both left the country in 1957 and migrated to France . I was born in the north France .I knew at the young age that I wanted to be an counselor and I also knew that I love telling stories. I became a counselor and practice in France for eight years. In 1991 I move to the United states in Chicago. I taught French and waited table. In 1998,I moved to Portland, Oregon and went to to film school so I can start telling stories thru the lense.In 2010 I spend six month at Dignity Village, a Portland's city-sanctioned homeless campground ,where live 60 residents.Some of them share theirs stories.I was able to produce my first documentary.

In August 2015 I went to visit my family in France for a month. I went to the Jungle a refugee camp where 4000 peoples live in very poor conditions.I thought for a moment that I was in a third world country.No I was in the nord of France

I just could not believe it was in my home land .

It was very disturbing so I decide to do whatever I can to help and make a difference. While there I was one of the volunteer. I helped out the best I could with the limited ressources we had they were so grateful. it was so overwhelming I could not comprehend why as a civilize country we let the refugees live in these conditions. While there I had the opportunity to film and get some interview. I came back to Portland and started working on my project.

Shortly after there was a bombing in Paris . A lot of peoples unfortunately. It change France my country for ever. Similar attack have been going on around the world for decade now. The refugees so called migrant by the French government and the press sometime fled their homeland because of war and came to Europe to start a new life.What happen in Paris happen in Syria Irak Afghanistan Sudan and others countries around the world every day. Peoples fled theirs countries for theirs safety so they dont get killed .It take them years sometime to reach their destination lately Europe.Once they get there they still live in poor conditions like in the Jungle the refugee camp close to my home town in France , ressources are very limited.Our government seems to move very slowly. It is very disturbing to me.I wish I could do more so I decide to pray for Peace let help each others, accept each others for who we are, embrace each other's, our cultures ,our difference ,lets share our resources ,let have our political leaders have a round table so we can resolve our difference in a peaceful way. No more war no more violence no more pain and no more sufferings. Every day I pray Peace I visualize Peace I see Peace. I light candles for peace hoping that it will become a reality. .I just want to wake up tomorrow and feel the peace around the world.

I know that there is only so much I can do. But I believe I can make a change I am very concerned for the womans and the childrens living in the camps.

I am currently working on the short documentary about the Jungle (refugees camp}. Once it is completing I intend to raise some money so I can go back. I will once there will help the volunteers teams building proper house and help also with donations food educations.Anything that can help the refugees start their new life as humans being.

Also be theirs voice

Comments 6

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Bernadette Muyomi
Nov 23, 2015
Nov 23, 2015

Good to learn more about you. The most moving thing has been the recent bombing in Paris. Coming from Kenya, bombing is not a very new thing since there have been various terrorist attacks in my country in the last couple of years. My empathy for the Paris bombing victims was awakened when I read both negative and positive sentiments of people regarding the solidarity profile picture that had been put up via facebook. At that juncture I read so much literature of how the people of France have been in solidarity  and supported Kenyans during the terror attacks. I realized that humanity is shared by those who believe in it and that it goes beyond knowing people in person. I hope you shall be able to upload the video once you are done so that I can have a chance to go through it.

Nov 23, 2015
Nov 23, 2015

Hello Rhania

I am touched by your story. I think Europe is doing it all wrong and at the same time it is almost the only continent that accept refugees in some way.I think politicians are still too concerned about their own position instead of going one level up.I am wondering if they realize what is going on. They let things go too far. Belgium is today in a kind of war status. It is very hard. I have so muchcompassion for all these people in Middle East and Africa wo try to flee their home country because of terrorism, violence, war. why can't we have peace dialogs, communication. In the end, we are all willing the same: peace and happiness. Hope your movie will get echoes and I am sure it will as it comes from your heart.

best wishes

Kerry-Ann Parchment
Nov 27, 2015
Nov 27, 2015

Hello Rhania thanks for sharing such a lovely story and largely sharing intricate details about various personal experiences. Please rest asurred that you are marking a diffrence through your writings. Words are powerful and even more powerful when they are written through your sight that have seen these ordeals. Please keep focus, pray and have a beautiful heart and thats enough to make those bold foot prints for a better world. I have read and so have my esteemed friends at world pulse...

Nov 28, 2015
Nov 28, 2015

Thank you, Rhania, for sharing your story with us! It is especially lovely how you are using your passion for storytelling to help others. The way that our countries and our governments treat refugees is disturbing to many of us, especially in the wake of recent bombings in Paris and in other cities around the world. By volunteering, raising money and sharing these stories in your documentary, you ARE making a different. Change begins with you. Thank you for your hard work and your heart. I wish you the best of luck with your newest project and stand with you in hopes for peace.

Nov 30, 2015
Nov 30, 2015


I echo the other comments in thanking you for using film to share your stories and for praying and sending more peace into the world.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Dec 03, 2015
Dec 03, 2015

Rhania, Your words: I know that there is only so much I can do. But I believe I can make a change.  Dear sister, this is all it takes to begin to move mountains!  The candles you light, the visits you make to camps, the passion you put into making documentaries and wanting to raise money and go back to help build better environments for women and children suffering in these camps IS the change happening in the world!  Your sharing is powerful, and your driven compassion is and will continue to cause the "ripple" across the globe to enhance and better the lives of others.  It starts with each one of us, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your sharing and being the change, a light, that our world dearly needs.  Thank you!!!  In solidarity and light ~ Veronica