Ana and Eri
Ana, Eri and their two kids came back from Bucharest, Romania.
Ana and Eri met in Albania in 1996 and a year later they decided to go overseas, to the USA or Canada. The plan was to travel first to Bucharest and from there continue to America but once in Bucharest they found jobs and slowly settled down.
The salary in Romania was quite low compared to other countries, but their income satisfied their needs and also allowed them to support their relatives in Albania. Their first son Dritan, was born in Bucharest.
During their period in Romania the family rarely travelled back to Albania. When Violeta was a toddler and Dritan was in primary school, Eri and Ana began to face difficulties. The supermarket they worked for closed and they were left jobless. They could only find temporary jobs and they could not renew their permits of stay, so they were forced to leave the country they considered their home.
“We tried everything to permanently stay in Bucharest, but because of the economic crisis and also of the lack of permits of stay it became difficult to find good and regular jobs. The last three years we lived in fear of being found by the police and getting expelled.
Finally we decided to return to Albania. My father has managed to build a house, and we can live here with him, my mother and my brother's family. We started from scratch. This is why the reintegration support of IOM is so important for us, it gave us the first push, it gave us the confidence to begin a new life in Albania
Thanks to this help, part of the harvest will be sold, while the remaining will be for family use. Once we will have the money to buy a second hand motorcycle I will start to look for a job in Bushat or in Shkodra.
If I could go back 20 years ago I would not immigrate […] we have always worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices in order to get integrated into the Romanian society and culture. Today we must start it all over again. We are given a mid term strategy to start a new life in our country. It gives us the confidence in the future."