Story
15 Mar 2017
By: IOM Belgium

Krishnapillai came to Belgium in 2014. His wife and five children stayed in Sri Lanka, he, unfortunately, had to leave due to several practical difficulties. He had a good life in Sri Lanka until 2002 when Krishnapillai was working as a manager and accountant for a food company. However, after 2002, he became unemployed and faced several difficulties to find a new job. Occasionally he worked as a taxi driver to earn some extra money.

Shortly after his arrival in Belgium, he started to miss his family. After his request for asylum was denied, he decided to return to Sri Lanka. The Red Cross facility that was assisting him at the time informed him of the possibilities within the Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme and referred him to IOM Belgium for reintegration counselling.

On 14 March 2015, Krishnapillai left Belgium with a twofold cause. Firstly he wanted to restart his life in Sri Lanka and secondly, he was eager to build a better future for his wife and children. Upon his arrival in Colombo on 15 March, the local IOM team welcomed him at the airport and accompanied him for the last part of his travel from Colombo to Jaffa, in the north of Sri Lanka.

Once he was back at home he contacted the local IOM Office. They helped him in several ways. Firstly, he took some extra classes in economics and business management tailored to his own discipline and work experience. On a more personal level, he was provided with additional psychosocial support. Lastly, he received some material support, including several tools to work more efficiently on his farm as well as a two-wheel tractor. In the near future, he plans to buy more land with the additional revenue to reap more and raise the living standard of his family.

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities