“My name is Shafiq and I arrived in Greece from Pakistan in 2017. I worked for eight years at a gas station in Pakistan, but my income was very low, so I decided to leave for Europe.
I ended up in Greece, hoping to earn enough to provide for my family in Pakistan. Despite finding work in the agriculture sector, my income was simply not enough to support my family and myself. I started to think more and more about my wife and our two children, so I decided to apply for IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme.
Since I had experience working at a gas station, I asked IOM to assist me in setting up my own gas station upon my return to Pakistan. And my wish came true! Now I run my own business, and have purchased gas cylinders and air pumps. My income is around EUR 250 per month, which is enough to support my family.
I am more than happy that I managed to return to my family. Being together with my family is the most important thing for me, leaving my home was the hardest decision I ever made. IOM helped me to leave behind all the hardships I’ve been through and focus on my family’s future. IOMs’ reintegration assistance is such an important support for those who decide to return to their homes and rebuild their lives.”
The project "The implementation of Assisted Voluntary Returns including Reintegration measures" (AVRR) is co-funded by Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) (75%) and by the Greek Ministry of Interior (25%).