„Nowhere on earth I am as happy and joyful as in Georgia. Nothing in the world can replace my homeland,” – Nana, 39.

Nana and her husband used to run a successful business in Georgia, though in 2016 due to a loan taken for the family needs, they faced serious problems, thus leaving the country appeared to be the only way to pay the debts and have reasonable living conditions. In the beginning the couple left for Israel. Even though they managed to receive work permits, Nana and her husband stayed there only two years and then returned. The main reason for their return was their kid and unbearable nostalgy for homeland. According to Nana, during her stay in Israel, she managed to develop her hobby – permanent make-up – into a real profession, attended a special training and traveled back to Georgia equipped with a brand-new skill. 

Coming back wasn’t easy either. The social-economic problems remained the same, which led Nana and her family to migrate to Greece in 2019 to obtain a citizenship and stay there. Unfortunately, the expectations did not match the reality here either. Everything appeared far more complicated. The couple managed to receive work permits, found jobs, but COVID-19 pandemic happened to be a huge challenge. Nana’s husband lost his job, living abroad with limited funds was becoming unendurable and finally the family firmly decided to return, though lack of financial resources and tough epidemic situation remained to be an issue. At this very moment Nana came to know about the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Program of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). With the program’s assistance, Nana and her family returned to Georgia in December 2020 and managed to reintegrate by preparing a business plan for starting up a small business. She opened a make-up school-studio “NANLines Beauty”, which offers a variety of aesthetic services to the clients.  

“IOM opened a window of opportunity to me. Through its support I started my own business, opened a make-up studio, and equipped it with modern inventory, which eased for me the reintegration process in Georgia. Now I’m proud to say that I run a successful beauty business, as well as share my experience with those interested in the same field,” says Nana. It should also be noted that Nana has been cooperating with IOM for over a year now, as a service provider. She has provided vocational training to several other IOM beneficiaries.   

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) – The UN Migration Agency, is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. Through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Programs, IOM aims to achieve orderly, humane, and cost-effective return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in the host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

Photo by IOM Georgia