International Organization for Migration

Taedad’s story

Taedad grew up in a modest Yazidi family, where the responsibility of the whole family was on a father who was working in the army. Hence, due to the family’s poor economic situation, Taedad was married at an early age to a man who was 20 years older than her. The marriage only lasted 6 years as Taedad’s husband passed away, leaving behind a woman who had yet to face the tough reality of life alone with three children.

A life with three small children and no financial source of income was tough at first. It was vital that Taedad find a job to support herself and her children. Her uncle helped her join a political party and helped her get a job which got her on her feet, provided daily needs for her family, so she was able to live happily with her children. But the appearance of ISIS in 2014, and the massacres they committed against Yazidi families forced her to put the safety and security of her children first and to leave the country. They chose Bulgaria as their destination where they stayed for more than a year and faced many struggles. Taedad’s life in Bulgaria was not much better than her life in her home country, as she faced many obstacles both from authorities and common people.

She finally decided to return home especially after hearing of the voluntary return programme that IOM was promoting. Taedad herself as well as one of her daughters were eligible for reintegration assistance to be used as a housing allowance after their return. Taedad decided to use the reintegration assistance to purchase some basic materials to finish the construction of the house that she started before departure, as well as purchasing some household items for the house. The reintegration assistance that they received was the only hope and the only thing to make them feel comfortable after returning home as it gave them the opportunity to finish the house and to have a place to live in peace.

Taedad is back to her job at the political party now, and she’s hoping for promotion. She stated: ‘’Although the salary is not good, I do like my job and I want to work hard to be promoted as I’m an experienced person in this field’’. ‘’The reintegration assistance that we received supported us to start our own life back home again, living in peace with hope’’ she added. Thus, psychologically Taedad was relieved and the reintegration assistance that she received helped her focus on her career more in order to be an independent and supportive mother to her children. One of her daughters re-joined school and is planning to complete the remaining two years in high school in order to enroll in a university.

At the end, the family expressed their happiness and gratitude towards the reintegration assistance offered by IOM, when they were visited again by IOM staff a year later. The assistance has positively contributed to the family’s happiness and long-term stay, taking away some of the extra burden that they had. In general, their life back home is an improvement particularly thanks to IOM’s support.