I feel peaceful here

Host and guest
How a charity found a welcoming home for a homeless refugee
December 30, 2023
Article by: Amelia Gentleman
Published in: The Guardian


On a dark December afternoon, Frieda Schicker and Robel, the Eritrean refugee she has been hosting for the past two months, are squabbling about who should be relaxing on the sofa and who should be making cups of tea.

“He thinks I’m too old to make tea, and he doesn’t like being served,” Frieda says as Robel tells her: “I’ll do it. Let me do it.” She insists on boiling the kettle herself, making him sit down and rest after a tiring day studying construction at a local college.

It has been years since Robel lived in a family home and he is slowly reacclimatising. “I’m taking a breath, trying to prepare myself for what comes next,” he says, stroking Frieda’s cat. “I feel peaceful here.”