Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (

Sudan, 8 August 2022 – While returning migrants usually face significant obstacles in re-establishing their lives back home, Fatima has taken the challenge in her stride. After her husband remarried, 49-year-old Fatima became the main breadwinner for her four daughters.

Motivated by the desire to secure a better future for them, she migrated to Egypt in 2017, taking her two youngest daughters with her.

“I took one step at a time, but I always had the mindset of trying and succeeding for my daughters,” she says.

“Leaving my two older daughters behind was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make,” explains Fatima. She barely managed to survive on short-term jobs as most employers would not hire her because of her age. “They told me I was too old and unfit, and when my daughter, who was 17 at the time, applied for jobs, they told her she was too young,” says Fatima.

Before the onset of COVID-19, migrants in Egypt and elsewhere were already vulnerable. This worsened after the pandemic, including for Fatima and her daughters, who struggled to make ends meet. “We suffered even more and there was no one to help us,” Fatima recalls.

The viable option for them was to return to Sudan. Through the Sudanese community in Egypt, Fatima learned about IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme and immediately made contact.

Sudan continues to face several overlapping challenges, including internal population displacement triggered by conflict, climate and socio-cultural conditions, leading to elevated levels of food insecurity. The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 worsened the already rising prices of basic food, medicine and other commodities, rising unemployment and falling exports.

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
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