Salih and Hussein
“My name is Salih and I was born on April 1992 in Zakho, a city in Iraq. I have three brothers and four sisters. My father was the only member of our family who had a job and we were facing serious financial problems. I decide to leave school and find a job. I was a taxi driver, I worked in a mini market and finally I worked as a carpenter in my uncle’s business. I wasn’t happy at all and I decide to go to Europe to find a better job.
I met Hussein when we were trying to reach the European borders. He is also a carpenter and married with four children. He lost his job due to economic crisis and he also decided to reach Europe looking for a higher income.
We went to Turkey and we started planning our trip to Europe. First stop was Greece and then Italy. However we got arrested by the Italian authorities, stayed in prison for about three months and sent back to Greece.
Thinks were very difficult in Athens. We had nowhere to stay, no money and no food to eat. We were 8 months away from our families. Our friendship was becoming stronger day by day and we started realizing that we made a big mistake leaving our home country.
We found out about IOM from other migrants interested in voluntary returns. We visited IOM in Athens and we were informed that we can apply for the reintegration assistance. IOM staff examined and approved our application, given the fact that we are both carpenters. A new job in Iraq was expecting us! We were very happy.
Our new carpentry business became a reality a few months ago and now it is going really well! Thanks to IOM, we can now financially support our families and be more optimistic about our children’s future”.
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.