We received a visit in Brussels, in our JRS Europe office, from our Cameroonian-Spanish friend Iñigo Karim. Karim has been part of one of the communities of hospitality hosting migrants within the JRS family in Spain.
Inigo Karim Ngouanang was born in Bafang, a commune in the Haut-Nkam department of the West Region, Cameroon. When he was six, his mother died and his father married another woman. When he was ten, he left home, dropped out of school and went to live with his uncle in another city. These were years in which he worked in the fields or in a mechanic’s workshop.
It was at 18 when, with a group of friends, he left his country in search of a better life and hope for the future. He went through Nigeria, Niger, Algeria and Morocco. Until He finally achieved his goal and arrived in Spain.
He arrived in Madrid from Melilla in 2007. Lost and without any reference, it was in a wardrobe where he read a sign that changed his life: “Centro Padre Rubio”, one of the centers of “Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes” (SJM), the JRS partner in Spain. There, he was taken in by the Jesuits and many friends in the Ventilla neighbourhood, in Madrid.
Karim, on his long and difficult road to Spain, found the meaning of his life and decided to be baptised, adopting the name Íñigo in homage to Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and has been called Íñigo Karim ever since.
Íñigo Karim, through his commitment and affection for the land that welcomed him, has obtained Spanish citizenship. In Spain, he has managed to rebuild his life and find a future. He is now the chauffeur of a senior manager of the Fundación Once in Spain. He continues to support various social projects in Cameroon, as well as supporting his family so that they can have a dignified life.
His work brought him to Brussels, to the European Parliament, and so we were fortunate to have him visit. Thank you very much Íñigo Karim for helping us to always keep hope alive.