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My new start in Serbia

Igor and his family found things difficult after their return. Now they have better prospects.

My new start in Serbia

My name is Igor and I'm 39 years old. I’m living in Serbia again. Twice now I’ve emigrated to Germany and then returned here. The first time was as a young boy with my parents. We later came back to Serbia together. Then I took my wife and children to Germany in 2014, but we had to return in May 2018. There had been some confusion about our documents and my wife was pregnant with our fourth child.

We found an opportunity in Serbia

Back in Serbia, I didn’t know what to do next. We’d lived in Germany for almost four years and I was unemployed after our return. I also felt out of place in Serbia. We shared the ground floor of our house with my parents, because we couldn’t afford to convert the loft. There was tension, but that wasn’t surprising: we were all living together in a very small space – six of us slept in one bed.

Most of my work was in construction as an unskilled worker. Those were hard times, since this work was infrequent. My family and I only just survived. I was always working hard for a low day's pay.

But then I remembered that someone had told me about the German Information Centre on Migration, Training and Employment (DIMAK) while I was still in Germany. They told me I should drop in there. So I went.

And I’m really happy that I did. The team there has supported me with creating a basis in Serbia.

Our life is a lot better now

The people at DIMAK explained to me what help I can get. I applied for support from various organisations. The DIMAK partner HELP found us a building company that completed our loft conversion at the end of 2020. So my wife and I now have a private area with enough space for us and the children. This support was very important to us. Our life is a lot better now, but we're still struggling.

My vocational training course was also very valuable support. I was able to take a carpentry course in January 2021 and did well in the final exam. I started working for the company where I did my training. It makes plywood furniture. I assembled the plywood to make furniture: kitchens, cupboards, all kinds of things. But I can’t work there any longer for health reasons, so now I have a different job. This job is less physically demanding.

As of: 11/2022

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

This support was very important to us.

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