Stories
03 Sep 2021

Esmeralda was abused and came to Norway via Greece with her children. She stayed in a reception centre for 10 months but did not feel at ease. Esmeralda said, "I could not stay in a shelter with lots of unknown people."

Esmeralda decided to return to Albania with assistance from IOM Norway’s Vulnerable Groups project, which provides assistance to returnees in particularly difficult situations. Esmeralda used her reintegration support for vocational training, job placement, payment of rental fees and covering her children’s needs, like school textbooks, etc. She is learning advanced culinary skills and will receive a certificate upon completion.

Her wages are lower in Albania than in other countries she has worked and that was difficult to accept. Her return was not without challenges but the cooperation and assistance with IOM was excellent. She decided to return to Tirana instead of her home city in order to have more opportunities. Since returning, things have improved, and Esmeralda is working and regained contact with her family. Her children have integrated into the school system. Even with the difficulties, her life is better in Albania than in Norway. Esmeralda said, "the initial cash grant from Norway helped me a lot to overcome the initial difficulties. The grant to cover rent for the house for a couple of months and my job placement and training at a bakery and culinary businesses, all these were so much of a great help and so vital for my restart in my home country."

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities