Petro came to Ireland in 2008, after he could not find work in Ukraine. He planned to stay with friends until he could afford his own apartment. Petro worked for nearly a year before he lost his job. For the next six months, he could not find work because he did not have a permit. Petro could no longer support himself, and decided to return to Ukraine.

His friends gave him an IOM leaflet, and he made an appointment to apply for assisted voluntary return at the Dublin office. Because of Petro’s vulnerable situation, he was eligible to receive support for his return. He was also told that he could apply for a reintegration grant once he was in Ukraine.

After he returned, Petro applied for the grant immediately. He used the fund to purchase building materials to start a small business repairing and finishing apartments, offices, and houses. Petro found that planning his business required a lot of time and thought. Because building contracts can be inconsistent, he is glad he had a plan for how to support himself during slow times.

After six months, Petro spoke with IOM staff and reported that his business was providing him with a sustainable livelihood. He eventually wants to study at university so that he can progress in developing his business.