“My name is Juliana and I am from the Philippines. I left my country when I was 45 years old, looking for a better job and a higher income. Back home I worked in a pharmacy laboratory for 5 years, and in a clothes factory for 3 years. I came to Greece hoping to get a job and make a good living.
It took me many months to finally get a job as a housekeeper, but I lived in Greece for 17 years from 2001. However, when Greece went through the economic crisis, finding or maintaining a job was really hard. At the same time, I faced many difficulties because of my fragile health, which made me think about returning to my hometown of Marikina.
I was already aware of IOM’s AVRR programme so I visited the IOM office in Athens to get more information on my options. IOM informed me that I could benefit from Reintegration Assistance thus, I made the decision to return. As I am getting older I prefer to be with my people in my hometown. One month after my arrival in my country with IOM's help, I set up my own ‘Sari Sari’, a grocery store in the Philippines. Moreover, six months after my business was set up, IOM Greece visited me in Marikina City to evaluate my business. It is running well and my income is enough to support myself and my family. IOM gave me the opportunity not only to return to my hometown, but also to restart my life here, where I feel more useful and more participative in my community."
Reintegration is a process that enables the returnee migrant to participate again in the social, cultural, economic and political life of his or her country of origin. 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.