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Moldova - Taxi business

Ion (27) first left Moldova in 2009. He had recently married and had a little daughter, yet his income was far from sufficient to support his young family. 

Following his friend’s advice, Ion obtained a Schengen visa and tried searching for better opportunities abroad. Although he paid a large sum of money – most of it borrowed – to agents who were supposed to help him, Ion failed to get a well paid job in Western Europe. Finally, Ion and his friend went to Lithuania and bought a second-hand car, which they then managed to sell for a higher price in Moldova. The profit earned encouraged the two men to try their luck further, this time in Germany. Once there, they put all their savings into purchasing another car. However, even before it was handed over to them, Ion and his friend were detained. They were held in prison for six months, although, according to Ion, no clear charges were ever brought against them. When Ion was eventually released, his visa issued for the purpose of visiting the Republic of Lithuania had already expired and, in accordance with applicable regulations, he was put on a plane to Lithuania.


When he disembarked in Vilnius, Ion was certain that he had come to a dead-end; traumatized by his recent experiences, he was penniless in a foreign country and felt desolate and lost. Ion had no idea where to turn to. All he could think about was how to get back home to his family as soon as possible. The more so that he knew his wife had given birth to their second daughter in his absence.


Ion heard about the possibility to return to Moldova with IOM’s assistance from the staff at Vilnius airport. Although suspicious at first, he made contact with IOM Vilnius and applied for voluntary return assistance. In view of his difficult financial situation as well as his family status, Ion was also advised to submit a preliminary business plan to be considered for reintegration assistance.


Ion safely reached home in Moldova and reunited with his family in mid April 2010. He started to seek employment immediately upon return and, having the necessary experience, was soon hired by a taxi company in Chisinau. Yet no matter how hard he worked, he was not earning enough to provide for his family. Ion came to realize that only a private car to work with could improve his situation. Determined and motivated, Ion developed a detailed plan for self-employment and eventually purchased a second-hand taxi, with support from IOM.    


Now the returnee and his family live in a small village in Grigoriopol district. So far the taxi business constitutes the only source of stable income for the family of four. Although he still faces numerous problems – expensive daily commuting to Chisinau, intense competition, rising fuel prices, necessity to combine work with childcare, - Ion is very hopeful about the future. Young and hardworking, he is already considering getting a job in a more successful company or even establishing a small taxi firm of his own. This should allow Ion to save enough money to complete his university studies and to get a qualified job in the future.