Photo credit: IOM/Uduak Amimo
“I wanted better work so I left Ethiopia in January 2017. I completed grade 10 but I could not go to university and I could not get a job — grade 10 results were not good enough, so I thought the only option was migration.
I ended up in prison in Malawi for about ten months because I had entered the country illegally, and finally came back to Ethiopia in December 2017 with IOM's help.
IOM and the EU helped me with transportation, they bought my air ticket back to Addis and accommodated me for about two days. They have also given me training, which helped because we learned how to open a business and how to analyze and select the target market, plus I got a certificate from the training.
During the training, I chose to go into grain trading because I had worked with cereals before. IOM and the EU provided me with teff, maize and beans to start the business, but I rented the shop and weighing machine out of my own pocket with loans from relatives.
My business started in 2018. For the time being, I am doing well but some of my customers are looking for different types of cereals, so I have to provide them for their customer satisfaction. I am also looking for more money from my relatives to expand my business.
In the future, I will provide wheat, sorghum, millet and all the different cereals for my customers. I am reinvesting my profit in the business so I will be able to provide these things within a few months. I have taken some loans from relatives for more expansion so that I can also sell grains wholesale. After that, I will repay their money.
I am very, very happy now thanks to IOM and the EU. I would not migrate or travel like that ever again due to the suffering I experienced and saw.”