Ricky Lagarde from the Philippines: After returning home with IOM help, I can support my family

Mr Lagarde left the Philippines for Slovakia in order to make a living. In the course of more than six years, he changed a number of jobs – working as a waiter, driver or warehouse keeper. Due to complications with his employer, he found himself in a situation having no salary and no residence permit. That was when he decided to return back home and turned to IOM.

IOM registered him into the Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations Programme and helped with his return to the Philippines within two weeks from the registration. He not only reunited with his family and friends after six years, but for the first time, he also met his son who was born after his departure abroad.

Together with IOM staff, a reintegration plan was developed. Mr Lagarde decided to purchase a tricycle – a popular means of transport in the Philippines, which he uses to provide taxi services. Aside from the tricycle, IOM assisted him in obtaining a passenger transport license and spare parts for possible repairs in the future.

More information on IOM assistance to migrants during and after their return home from Slovakia: www.avr.iom.sk.

(Names of the persons have been published with their consent. / Names of the persons have been altered to protect their identity.)


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Kata left Serbia when she was 21 years old. Back at home, she lived with her mother and studied law. She tried to earn some extra money through various part-time jobs, but it was not enough.

Minh from Vietnam: Without IOM support, I could not have returned home

Mr Minh left his native country of Vietnam in 2008, came to Slovakia legally and found employment as a factory worker.

Ahmad from Afghanistan: I worked in a shoe shop already in high school

Mr Ahmad Abassi started high school as an adolescent. He was trying to earn money for his studies working part-time in a shoe shop. However, his income was not sufficient and his family could not afford to finance his education.