23 May 2021
By: IOM Bangladesh

“In October 2019, my father returned to Bangladesh from Italy after suffering a stroke. As the eldest son, I was very afraid about a future without a secure household income. However, when my family met with the staff of the Prottasha project my worries and anxiety began to  fade. I never expected that my  father would receive tremendous support in Bangladesh. We received BDT 120,000 (1,170 EUR) to start dairy farming, and my father even received treatment from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) hopital in Savar with support from the Prottasha project. I cannot express enough thanks to the European Union (EU),  the  International Organization for Migration (IOM), and BRAC for their assistance. It is like a gift from Allah that they stood by our family in this difficult time” - “Junayed’’ (22).

A Prottasha field staff is providing counselling service to Nuhu and his family members at their place. © BRAC 2020

Nuhu Islam, a Bangladeshi national from the Noakhali district, who had studied up to grade eight only, traveled to Italy in 2010. Like many other Bangladeshi migrants, Nuhu dreamt of going abroad for a better life. Nuhu paid a middleman 600,000 BDT (5,843 EUR) to travel to Italy. He was able to raise this money by borrowing from family and friends and selling his property. When he first arrived in Italy, he worked in any jobs he could find, and eventually worked as a storekeeper in a shop. He used to send as much money home as he could to pay off his debts. Nuhu's family was doing well until he suffered a  stroke in 2016.

Md. Khorshed Alam Khan, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Noakhali District, is handing over the Cheque of BDT 120,000 to Nuhu’s wife and son. © BRAC 2020

After the stroke, his income fell dramatically, as he was unable to do any physical labour. With the help of his relatives in Italy, he managed to return to Bangladesh in 2019. At this stage, he had not received any treatment. Since returning to Bangladesh, his health deteriorated to the point that he was barely able to move or speak, and his family was not able to afford treatment. The entire family were dependent on relatives for financial support, and both Nuhu’s daughter and son had to suspend their studies because money was so tight.

Nuhu’s son and Prottasha staff are paying the cash to the vendor for buying the dairy cow. © BRAC 2020

In 2020, Nuhu was identified and profiled by the Prottasha project  and  became  a  project  beneficiary. Field  staff  in Noakhali district met with Mr. Nuhu’s family and together they finalized a business plan to start a dairy business that could support Nuhu and his family. The demand for dairy is high in the area Nuhu lives and it is easy to sell milk for a good profit without transportation costs. In December 2020, Nuhu's family received 120,000 BDT from the Prottasha project. With this money, Nuhu’s family purchased a dairy cow.

The family collects 10-12 liters of milk each day and earns between BDT 18,000 to 20,000 (175-195 EUR) a month through this. With this money, the family is able to cover household expenses and meet their basic living costs.  Nuhu was also referred to the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Dhaka to receive better treatment with assistance from the Prottasha project. Additionally, Nuhu's son is expected to be referred to a training course under the project enabling him to gain skills to help him to be gainfully employed.

Like Nuhu Islam 1,734 returned migrants have received reintegration support under the Prottasha project so far.

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