Visualizing Return

Besara & Edmond Simoni

By Carina Wint, IOM Norway

Twenty seven year old Besara Simoni and her husband Edmond came to Norway in 2013 in the hope of a building a new life. Besara hoped that Edmond would be able to receive treatment for his serious illness: her plan was to find a good job that would support them both.

After months of trying they were unable find work, and life in Oslo became increasingly difficult. With the help of IOMs VARP program Besara and Edmond were able to plan their return home to Albania. “We were informed of the possibilities to travel with IOM support,” said Besara.

“The support grant covered some of Edmond’s medical bills. It also helped with our living expenses, giving me time to look for work.”

Besara is now working in a call-centre, but their situation remains difficult – “I have a job and this is the only good news. We have no house of our own and Edmond’s medical treatment takes a lot of our money,” says Besara. “Our life here is better here than in Norway. In Norway I had no chance to work at all.”

Like thousands of European economic migrants Besara cites job opportunities as the biggest pull factor in her decision to migrate. But her advice to other Albanians in Norway is, “if you think you could have a job in Albania it would be a waste of time to stay in Norway for nothing.”

Carina Wint is a communications officer in IOM Norway