Rita came to Ireland with her brother in 2009, hoping to find a job that could provide a better life for her family. Her children and husband stayed in the Philippines during the two years that she worked abroad. In 2011, Rita became unemployed. With no work permit, she decided it was best for her to return to the Philippines.

A friend told Rita that IOM could help people who wanted to return, so she made an appointment at the Dublin office. She received assistance with organizing her visa and with the cost of travel. Rita also learned that she could apply for a reintegration grant once she had returned.

After arriving in the Philippines, Rita was happy to be back with her husband and children. However, she had trouble finding a job. She decided to start a small business selling rice, and spent several months writing her business plan and preparing her budget. Rita applied for the reintegration grant to purchase her initial stock, and began selling it at a local market.

“I want to save enough money to start another business in the Philippines.”

IOM staff in the Philippines contacted Rita six months after she returned. She reported that learning to operate her own business was a challenge, but she has gained the skills necessary to be a good manager. The business is currently making a profit, and Rita can support her family with the income. Rita is happy to have returned and looks forward to expanding her sales opportunities in the coming years.