This is not just any train; it's the train of solidarity. It will travel through France with a message of dialogue and education about the refugee crisis around the world.
“The idea of the train is to create encounters. To go from city to city, to highlight the role of cities in the integration of refugees. But more importantly, to create encounters between refugees and their hosts, the French citizens that welcome them.”
The Solidarity Train will stop in five French cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Clermont Ferrand, Lyon and Strasbourg. Its objective is to show the actual refugee crisis.
“Being a refugee is a legal status, it shouldn’t define you as a person. Before being a refugee, we were other things, and it's important to recognize our humanity, that we're not only numbers.”
On the Solidarity Train, there will be testimonies and lessons about the causes and consequences of forced displacement from people around the world. There will also be a wagon for conferences and film screenings.
It's a space that strengthens ties between residents and their new neighbors.
Secretary of SNCF
“The train is an emblematic mode of transportation in France, in Europe and around the world. It's a beautiful tool to link human beings to each other, and linking humans together is ultimately what solidarity is.”
It will be running until Dec. 17. The Solidarity Train's last stop will be in Geneva, Switzerland, for the opening of the first Global Refugee Forum.
Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski