18 Jul 2021
By: IOM Bangladesh

Rahim Mia, originally from Munshiganj district's Sreenagar Upazilla, was in financial difficulties owing to not having a stable income. When he was looking for a decent income opportunity, one of his contacts, a middleman, informed him that moving abroad could be a good way to get out of his financial crisis. Many of his villagers had made a good income by going abroad. Rahman was swayed by the middleman and intended to go abroad.

Rahim subsequently contacted a middleman and paid him BDT 1,000,000 (9,994 EUR) as migration cost. His family members had to borrow money from relatives and non-profit organizations to arrange this large sum of money. Rahim also managed to get some money from his family’s savings account. Finally, in 2010, he migrated to Sweden. Unfortunately, however, he struggled to find a job because of the recruitment policy there.

Rahim attending a counseling session arranged under the Prottasha project. © Prottasha 2020

After much struggle, Rahim managed to get a job at a restaurant on contract basis and started earning an income. He managed to earn a sum of BDT 3,000,000 (29,982 EUR) throughout his stay in Sweden and sent the money to his family to pay off his debts and cover household expenses.

When his legal documents expired in 2016, he began experiencing difficulties in Sweden while he continued to live with the fear of getting arrested. Rahim was subsequently fired from his job as he lacked the necessary legal documents to continue working in Sweden. He looked for work but wasn’t successful. Meanwhile, unfortunately for him, he had an accident, and his eyes were damaged. As the treatment cost was high, he had to spend a significant amount of money. When his physical and financial condition started to deteriorate coupled with the lack of legal documents to continue living in Europe, Rahim finally decided to return home to Bangladesh in 2016.

Upon his return to Bangladesh, he opened a shoe retail shop at the local market. But his earnings were insufficient, and he was becoming increasingly irritated. Rahim was identified by a Prottasha staff where he was screened and considered eligible to receive assistance under the project. Rahim received psychosocial support under the Prottasha project.

Rahim receiving advise on the Tailored Reintegration Plan (TRP) offered under the Prottasha project. © Prottasha 2020

The psychosocial assistance received under the Prottasha project contributed to a positive change in him. He began to feel comfortable, hopeful, and active again.

He further received assistance to develop a Tailored Reintegration Plan (TRP) together with needed social and reintegration support through the Munsiganj RSC. He also received BDT 70,000 (699.37 EUR) as in-kind support, which he used to buy additional products for his store. This assistance boosted his business and enabled him to gradually increase his income.

Rahim remarked, 

Rahim receiving the cheque for BDT 70,000 issued under the Prottasha project. © Prottasha 2020

I am grateful for the counselling assistance that has helped me become more self-assured and confident. Furthermore, your (received under the Prottasha project) in-kind assistance has helped me in overcoming my financial difficulties. I am very grateful to the Prottasha project.

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities