‘Morad’s like their big brother’

After months of struggling, Eritrean asylum seeker Morad Essa is rediscovering life with a Swiss family near Morges. (Simon Bradley,

This content was published on May 27, 2015

Essa, 24, is the first asylum seeker to be chosen to take part in a long-overdue housing programme launched by the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC) for applicants who are likely to stay in the country. 

After living for eight months in an underground nuclear bunker at Gland in canton Vaud, he was welcomed into the family home of Anick and Alain Christen at Lully, near Morges on March 1. 

Over 300 Swiss families like the Christen’s have volunteered to open up their homes to accommodate asylum seekers to help them integrate in Switzerland.

Several cantons have expressed an interest in the SRC scheme but the programme has encountered many administrative hurdles, as housing asylum seekers in Swiss homes has become much more complicated in recent years.

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