Nguyen Minh Chien had been living with his mother and sister in Ba Vi, 60 kilometres outside the city of Hanoi. There were few employment opportunities in Vietnam and, like many of his friends, he believed that a life in Europe would offer him more opportunities to earn a better living. Chien sought out a work permit and a job in Hungary through a migration service he found on the internet, paying 25,000 USD for this service and his travel costs. His mother helped contribute financially, putting her in a huge amount of debt, but the family felt it was worth it in order for Chien to live a better life.
Chien flew to Hungary and began work in a convenience store as planned but after just six months his boss stopped paying him and he lost both his job and his home. Chien then travelled throughout Europe scraping together enough money to live on, working in various roles such as construction work, helping in restaurants and working in small retail stores. When Covid-19 struck he found it impossible to find work due to the service industry practically closing down across Europe and he became destitute.
Not knowing what else to do Chien took himself to a police station in Austria to ask for help and they took him to a refugee centre where he soon learned about the Reintegration Programme and that he could have help and support to return home to Vietnam.
After a pre-departure meeting in April 2022 and learning more about the services and support on offer he immediately applied for voluntary return to Vietnam. Being eligible for the reintegration programme meant that Chien was provided with a one-way flight ticket home to Hanoi and arrived back home only a month later on 31st May 2022.
Chien’s family met him at the airport, and he was very pleased that he was eligible for both post-arrival support (a small amount of cash to help him during his immediate return) and post-return services, provided in-kind. Both levels of support were provided by SCDI, IRARA’s experienced and knowledgeable local partner in Vietnam. Chien met with the SCDI counsellors in person soon after returning and they helped him to register for a new Identity Card, something that is necessary in Vietnam to access many services. SCDI discussed his other needs in detail and it was decided that in order for Chien to be able to live a full life and support himself he needed a job. SCDI helped him find local job-fairs and uncover employment opportunities. Transport, however, was his biggest problem, without which he couldn’t get to job interviews or meet with prospective employers. It was decided that using his in-kind support to purchase a motorcycle would be the best way for him to get back on his feet, find work and commute to his job.
Chien now has a good job in telesales and travels to work daily on his motorcycle. He is happily living at home with his mother and sister again and contributing to his family financially.