When Zahid set out from his native Pakistan he was pursuing the dream a better life in Europe. After a long, dangerous journey, done mostly on foot and occasionally by car, Zahid arrived on the island of Lesbos, Greece. After spending 12 days there, he ended up on the island of Crete to work in husbandry.
“It was difficult, sometimes I had work, others not so much”, he recounts, almost 2 years later. At 24, the young man found himself stuck in Greece, with no income and no options. That was the moment when he found out – through an acquaintance – about the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programmes, a core activity of IOM Greece. “The staff here have been really helpful, really nice. Thanks to the reintegration programme, I will have the possibility to start a small grocery store, together with my brothers”.
Since 2010, IOM Greece, through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programmes (AVRR) for short – has helped more than 30.000 individuals to return safely back home. Furthermore IOM Greece has supported over 3.200 migrants to successfully complete personalized reintegration plans in terms of sustainability for themselves and their families.
The project "The implementation of Assisted Voluntary Returns including Reintegration measures" (AVRR) is co-funded 75% by Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and 25% by Greek Ministry of Interior.