Nelsi left for Canada with his friend Genti. They planned the long journey with a flight from Skopje, Macedonia, and a stopover in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In order to pay for the flight ticket and a fake passport, Nelsi sold two cows out of the four owned by his family.  They never made it to Canada.  The Dutch authorities detected their fake passports, detained them for a few months in a reception center and then provided them with the option for an assisted voluntary return to Albania. Nelsi came back home to his countryside between Lushnje and Fier, in the south-central part of Albania. The four kilometers of road that separate the village to the main highway was paved only last year; before it took about 30 minutes to pass it through.  In the village many families live on remittances, everyone has a part of the family abroad. 

"The problem is that in this village and its surroundings there are no job opportunities. The only option is to migrate or undertake some small businesses that allow you just to survive", he says. On his return, Nelsi was supported by IOM through a reintegration support grant that allowed him to purchase a tractor that he now uses in his vineyard and to work other people's land.

He has built a trailer to the tractor and offers special transport services for his villagers: bulky tools and furniture, materials for construction, large agricultural crops. The tractor allows Nelsi and his family to receive a pretty safe monthly income and has allowed him to expand his vineyard and produce a good amount of raki (typical; Albanian grape brandy) and sell it in the village. While his friend has managed to leave again irregularly, Nelsi for the moment has decided to stay in Albania.

He is engaged to a girl working as a nurse in a small hospital nearby. “We will be married soon and we will try to have a decent life together in Albania. In case we could not do it, I want to be prepared to migrate again, but this time in a regular manner”, says Nelsi. Her fiancée has started a German course in order to have better chances to be included in a program of recruitment of qualified nurses in Germany, while Nelsi wants to study English. Perhaps one day he could ask for family reunification with his older brother who owns a construction company in Toronto. IOM reintegration programme goes beyond financial assistance. Nelsi has been helped in planning and implementing his activity and even in providing information also on possible channels of regular migration, should he decide in the future to try to regularly go to Canada or Germany.

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities