International Organization for Migration

IOM Mission
in Tajikistan

“Just do it!” says IOM to returned young vulnerable migrants in Tajikistan

The hoodie worn by Nasim Baymurzaev from Bokhtar bears the words “Just do it”. “Just do it” – is a motto Nasim has been following the whole life. Leaving fear behind and going for his dream job has brought him success. 

But this path to success was not smoothly paved. When young Nasim graduated from a school and enrolled to a local university in his home city of Bokhtar in Khatlon province of Tajikistan, he did not know that only a year later he will have to go to Russia seeking for a job – his father, a former migrant worker in Russia, got disability and had to return home. This changed the life of their family.

When young Nasim went to Russia and started continuing the job of his father – a loading, he did not know that just in a year and half he will have to return to Tajikistan too and not be able to go to Russia due to being placed in the re-entry ban by the Russian authorities. He was confused with constantly changing migration legislation in the host country and did not even know that violated new rules – there are more than 260,000 Tajik citizens in the ban list as of July 2019. This worsened the living conditions of his family.

But it did not relieve him of a responsibility of helping his mother to take care of the disabled father and the younger siblings as eldest son. For the next three years Nasim would take whatever job opportunity he could find in Bokhtar and surrounding districts – either at a construction site, or repairing a house, or loading things at a bazaar. But job opportunities in a relatively small city are scarce.

There were many days he would return home with no diram (a subdivision of the Tajik currency) in hand. The small income of his mother, who worked as a cleaning lady at the bazaar, was not enough. Additionally, his mother had to take some loans from local banks for family needs, which was extra burden to their shoulders.

Desperate, depressed, and angry, he started thinking about breaking law - to change his surname and return to Russia – these are psychological conditions driving youth to a crime and the IOM puts efforts to prevent it.

What stopped him was talking to the head of his local community, who had an advertisement leaflet in hand from “Akhtari Bakht”, local NGO, IOM partner in implementing “Dignity and Rights” project in creating income generating opportunities for returned and vulnerable migrants with funds from the United States Agency for the International Development (USAID).

Nasim says: “I told them that I used to work as a cashier for a clothing store in the bazaar, I know this job and I would try to run my own, if get helped. I was given a starting capital to launch my own store. Now I buy children clothes from Dushanbe and re-sell here. Now I pay rent, taxes, I am a taxpayer. Now I am returning loans we earlier took for my father’s medical bills. I no longer need a loan to buy medicines for my father”.

Returned loans, affordability of medical bills, financial coverage of the family needs are not only changes in the life of Nasim after he started his own business with this support. Nasim has recently married, starting a new colored page in the book of his life, and wedding expenses were fully covered by him. Anxiousness of last year turned to happiness of this year and years to come.

International Organization for Migration - Mission in Tajikistan

734013, 22A Azizbekov Street, 2nd Driveway, Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan
Tel.: (+992 48) 701 0202, 701 0303, 701 0222
Fax.: (+992 37) 251 0062
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