Radiki, Tajikistan – Jovid sits in his home alongside his wife and family. He is enjoying a cup of tea and reminiscing about his time in Germany: “My time in Germany was good because the people were very kind.”
Jovid is one of the millions of migrants who left their country in search of a better life abroad. Leaving Tajikistan in 2009, he migrated first to the Russian Federation, before settling in Germany in 2015. In Germany, he started studying and later found employment with a construction company.
After five years, Jovid felt a longing to return and reunite with his relatives in Tajikistan. “Of course, I had a desire to stay,” he says, “but the family plays an important role in a person’s life.” Having made up his mind to return, he contacted IOM to find out his options.
Jovid was recommended to visit a local counselling centre where he learnt about voluntary return: a free programme that helps migrants return to their country of origin and provides financial aid to support with reintegrating after their arrival. He decided to return to Tajikistan through the programme and started the next steps of his journey. IOM prepared the necessary travel documents Jovid would need to return and purchased his plane ticket. As part of the voluntary return support process, every returnee works together with their return counsellor to create a reintegration plan. The plan lays out a set of goals for the future that will help them successfully reintegrate and outlines the support the migrant would need to achieve them.
Back in Tajikistan, Jovid reunited with his relatives and soon started a family of his own; marrying his wife. Beyond that, he has been working through his reintegration plan: his next goal is to renovate his new home. IOM provided in-kind assistance to support his with his project; purchasing construction materials and home appliances. He was given a refrigerator, a washing machine, and an air conditioner, as well as boards to build a gate for the house. “With God’s will,” he says, “the house will be ready in four months.”
For now, Jovid is happy with his decision and hopeful for the future: “We will settle down with a new family here and then we will see.” With a smile, he adds, “Home is home.”