Mahmadsharif Rahmonov wakes up before the sunrise every morning – he has six bulls to take care of. He feeds them, gives them water, bathes them, and cleans after them.
A wonderful shining smile is what we now see in Mahmadsharif’s face. He is happy to have an income source at home, by parents, and not to remember a hard period of his life in Russia.
“Home is always sweet. No one forces you to pay monthly for work authorization and no policeman harasses you. You sleep well being sure that no one breaks in your apartment in the middle of the night, and there is no one to be feared of”.
He has what to be feared of. In 2006 Mahmadsharif lost two brothers, one, a labor migrant, was murdered in Russia, another, a student, was beaten to death in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan. Few years later his father got a disability and was not able to take care of the big family anymore. Mahmadsharif, despite of young age, had to take the wheel. He went to Russia, found a work at a construction site, and his small remittances sent back to the family in Tajikistan were enough only for food and medicines. He recalls:
“My family would not receive even that and go to bed with empty stomachs sometimes, when my employers deceived me and did not pay me. Once, I was detained by police and placed to the re-entry ban list, though had all proper documents”.
Reportedly, unjust court hearings are not rare for migrants in Russia and media frequently tell similar stories. His last employer did not pay him and Mahmadsharif had to return with no money in hand and no hope in heart to find a job at home.
At home in Kushoniyon district of Khatlon province, he had to take small loans from banks to cover daily expenses of the big family consisted of spouse, two children, parents, and younger sisters – all unemployed and dependent to Mahmadsharif. He doesn’t know what he could do, if not IOM/USAID project to support returned vulnerable migrants.
IOM Tajikistan under the USAID’s “Dignity and Rights” project provided Mahmadsharif with six bulls and forage for growing-finishing livestock, so he can make his living by cattle breeding. All the family now participates in the business and actively helps him to take care of bulls. He says:
“I sell them, buy new one, raise them and sell again, keeping the difference for myself. I love this job, I can take care of my family and be by them all the time. This opportunity changed my life”.
Mahmadsharif is hopeful and enthusiastic about further developing his business. Mahmadsharif intends on creating a big farming household, thereby bringing benefit for himself and his family.
The video below details these changes in the life of Mahmadsharif after receiving IOM grant.