Ati and his parents came to Ireland to apply for asylum in 2008. They stayed for nearly a year in an accommodation centre before deciding that they wanted to return to Swaziland.
Ati’s family contacted IOM, who began to help them arrange their departure. IOM staff also put them in touch with a centre that could provide answers to their legal questions. Through IOM, Ati and his parents were able to buy plane tickets and prepare their departure. Ati also learned that he could apply for a reintegration grant. He began thinking about what he could do to create a sustainable business.
Because he and his family returned together, Ati was able to settle back into life in Swaziland with relative ease. He was reunited with his sister, who owned a successful liquor store located in the centre of the city. They decided that Ati should join the business and help to run the liquor store. Ati used the reintegration grant to purchase a 10% share, and now he and his sister operate the business together. After six months, Ati reported that the liquor store was, “definitely making a profit.”
“My mind was already made up to return home, before I heard about IOM.”
Although he is enjoying the success of his business venture, Ati would one day like to live outside Swaziland again. He hopes to find new work opportunities, and possibly study abroad.