This article is the continuation of, and above all, the answer to everything I have learned by listening to the migrants who came before me. By listening to them, I have managed to gain confidence in myself and, above all, I have stopped seeing my skin colour and my origins as a fatality, an obstacle to be overcome or even as a handicap. I know that I am much more than my physical appearance but, in the world, we live in, it is sometimes easy to forget that. Listening to the testimonies of migrants from previous generations, I have understood one essential thing: I have the right to live. I say this because of all the opinions I heard, no one complained about their fate. On the contrary, they were all talking about how they had overcome the obstacles and how they wanted to change things. They talked about how lucky they were to meet people who accepted them and how confident they were in living their lives. They reminded me that I am a human being and that by that simple fact I have the right to live, to dream and to flourish.

When we talked about discrimination and racism, I made resolutions. Not because I think I hold the key to all the world's ills. No. I simply said to myself that "it would be nice if, ...". By listening to others, I realized that there were also solutions.

During the focus groups, we repeatedly brought up the subject of naturalization, the privileges of nationals and the restrictions of migrants. This issue came up again and again because in Luxembourg half of the population is of migrant origin. A man of 50 who works in the social field underlined how strange it is that the government decides and knows what a migrant need. He said that if the situation was to improve, it was necessary to hear the voice of migrants and ask them directly what they needed. Or better still, let political representatives with a migrant background participate in the decision making. I think it is a pity that migrants cannot participate in legislative elections in Luxembourg while the Luxembourg state takes measures about a "minority" population. The only way would be for them to change their nationality. Also, I think it's a pity that there are not as many politicians with a direct migrant background in Luxembourg. Another example is that a 50-year-old mother raised the issue of jobs in Luxembourg. She reminded us that in Luxembourg, a lot of government jobs were the privilege of Luxembourgers and that she would like more people to become teachers by choice and not by right. She felt that everyone should be allowed to shine where they should maximise talent. I also believe that it is unfair that if a young migrant would want to be a mathematics teacher, he would have to master all three official languages to achieve his dream. We focused a lot on the fact that when we talk about migration, integration, racism, discrimination and so on, public policies tend to focus on "what migrants can do" and largely neglect what nationals themselves have to do and how the system needs to change.

To sum up, I have learned from my contact with the waves of older generations that the words "migration" and "integration" do not describe any concrete situation because they are so vague. And also, that if we want to build a more plural and solid society, it is not fair to expect migrants to do all the work. Any balanced relationship is based on a dynamic of reciprocity. Finally, I would say the most essential thing I have learned is that I am a solution in myself. As long as I don't hold myself back. As long as I don't let fear and doubt weigh me down and I follow my dreams, I will inevitably participate in the construction of this society because I am a full member of it. I cannot change the world but I can change my world, my values and my way of thinking. It's in small ways that you can do it. And that's the biggest lesson I took with me.

The authorMarie

This post is the result of reflections of the group of young peer researchers at the University of Luxembourg. In the UL MIMY team peer researchers bring their unique experiences of migration, own perspectives and different backgrounds mirroring the diversity of Luxembourg.