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Finally back with my family

Ein Mann steht vor seinem Auto.
Mehmood is happy to be using his car to work independently.

Finally back with my family

My name is Mehmood and I come from Pakistan. I spent a large part of my working life abroad, as I wanted to provide better support for my family. I don’t regret it – I saw different parts of the world and sometimes I was earning good money. Now, at over 50 years old, I’ve come back home.

Before I left Pakistan when I was much younger, I used to work as a driver for various international companies in Lahore. Contacts of mine offered me a job as the operations manager at a motel in London. I accepted it and moved to England, where I stayed for ten years. Lots of other Pakistani relatives and friends were living in the same area, so I didn’t feel too lonely. 

Ein Autofahrer unterhält sich mit einem Mann durch das Fenster.
Taxi firm owner Mehmood talking with a customer.

Despite all that I came back to Pakistan at one point, but I couldn’t find a job. We didn’t have any money coming in and I felt guilty. The pressure to provide for my family and give my children a good education drove me abroad again. This time I went to Germany. Unfortunately though I didn’t get a residence permit. Being an asylum seeker meant I wasn’t allowed to work, so after three years I decided to come back voluntarily. 

Self-employed with my own taxi

The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) helped me with my return trip to Lahore. They met me when I arrived in February 2018 and helped me to get established again. Then the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH gave me the opportunity to take part in the StartHope@Home programme. The idea behind it is to help people become self-employed and give them new career prospects in their own countries. This changed everything for me. Their training programme taught me how to start and manage a business. I was enthusiastic about the benefits of owning my own taxi business. The financial support that ERRIN provides for voluntary returnees was enough for me to buy a car. 

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I spent a long time working as a driver for other companies. Now I’m my own boss. I really enjoy being able to organise my own working day. I like the job and I'm earning enough from it. I’m finally back home with my family. My wife and children are doing well. It’s great to be back living with them after such a long time apart.

As of: 06/2021

The opportunities for advice and assistance described here are offered as part of “Returning to New Opportunities”.

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I spent a long time working as a driver for other companies. Now I’m my own boss.
Mehmood