Four years after Patience decided to go to Ireland she recalls those days and her decision with clarity. “I went to Ireland to look for a job, for a better living,” she explained. “Unfortunately, I went there in the wrong time. There were no jobs at that time, yet it was better than in South Africa.”
Then talking with IOM staff, Patience did not have many good memories to share about starting her new life in Ireland. She was struggling to pay rent and had to receive assistance from the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Finally, she became part of the asylum system and was assigned housing in an accommodation centre. “Life was difficult even in the camp [accommodation centre], so I decided to come back home.”
Patience had found information about IOM online. “I saw IOM on the internet, so I called them and they told me to go to Dublin. I went and they gave me the right information. They told me about the grant, and when I came back I applied for it directly.”
IOM prepared the paperwork required for Patience to travel, and in February 2012 she returned to South Africa where her husband was waiting for her. He had opened a small shop while she was away, so Patience used the IOM Ireland reintegration grant to buy stock for the shop.
“I wanted to go back home. At least there, there are always people who love you, even if you don´t have money.”
However, conditions of life in South Africa were still not easy for Patience in 2013. “The business is up and down. I can’t get a job here. I applied, but nothing. And the business doesn’t grow, as we have to pay rent here, rent where we live, etcetera.”
Although Patience is an optimist, she admitted that sometimes, when things get tough, she thinks of going to Australia with her cousin or back to Europe.