Before, I used to sell bread and condiments at the market in the commune of Abobo. It is this business that allowed me to fund my trip for which I spent over XOF 800,000 (about 1,200 euros).
I left in 2017 for Libya where I spent a year. There, you couldn’t go out and life was hard. We were mistreated, beaten and food was regularly missing. I even had to call my parents to send me money. In 2018, I decided to leave Libya.
When I returned to Côte d’Ivoire, my family did not reject me. On the contrary, they were happy to see me again and supported me a lot. They asked me a lot why it didn’t work. It hurt because sometimes I had feelings of regret when I thought about the trip. In addition, I was unwell and couldn’t sleep properly. A few months after my return, I was provided with a reintegration project and a ten-day business training. After that, I was able to buy a shop selling second-hand clothes and beauty items here in Daloa.
The goods I buy in bulk cost XOF 200,000 (about 300 euros) and I manage to resell everything on the market in two or three weeks with a profit of about XOF 50,000 (about 75 euros). It is thanks to this profit that I can cover my daily expenses.
My goal for the next five years is to have a bigger and better shop than this one. I would also like to travel so that I can offer new items to my customers and develop my business.
Since early 2021, I have also joined the network of voluntary returnees to raise awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration in the city of Daloa. With other returnees, we raise awareness and share our experience of migration with young people to prevent them from making the same mistake as us. There is no place like home! The advice I can give to all my sisters: if they have ambitions to travel to Europe, they must do it in a regular way!
Soumahoro Nabintou returned from Libya in 2018. Upon her return to Côte d’Ivoire, she received a ten-day training in entrepreneurship and financial management from the National Agency for Support to Rural Development (ANADER) as well as technical and material support from the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration to start her business. Today, she runs her own leather goods shop in Daloa.