For nine years, Sheng Li lived in Ireland and worked in a small restaurant. He had left China in 2002 to earn more money to support his children, but even after they were grown he stayed in Ireland because he liked the country. In 2011, he developed a severe medical problem and became unemployed due to his health. One year later, he decided to return to China for medical treatment. “I wanted to return for my health. I didn’t need to worry about my children. They are all financially independent now.”
However, between his medical condition and his living costs, Sheng Li was unable to organize his return on his own. He applied for assistance from IOM Ireland, who coordinated with his doctor and the Chinese Embassy to arrange Sheng Li’s travel. After he received medical clearance, Sheng Li returned to China in 2012.
“I feel quite good. I have been away from China for ten years, and it feels great to be back.”
Once in his hometown, Sheng Li moved in with his son’s family. He was able to access the medical treatment he needed immediately, and he recovered enough to apply for a reintegration grant. With the in-kind fund, he purchased a used motorbike to start his own delivery business. In 2013, he told an IOM staff member, “Business is okay. Due to my health problems and my age, I am not able to work much.” However, Sheng Li was very happy to have returned to China where he had the support of his family.