A Second Chance: the Story of a Kiosk

Posted on: 2018/5/17 01:15

“When our lives reach […] extreme poverty, we start making irrational decisions, that are not necessary right, but essential [for our survival].”

Mr. Hafez is a very vivid man in his forties whose family is his main priority in life. Struggling to find a decent job, after the closure of his kiosk, Mr. Hafez was convinced by one of his friends to take the dangerous overseas journey to Italy. Mr. Hafez remembers this decision very well: “When our lives reach […] extreme poverty, we start making irrational decisions, that are not necessary right, but essential [for our survival].”

Hafez started his journey from a small town in Alexandria where boats travelling to Europe on regular basis can often be found in harbour. Mr. Hafez paid more than 30,000 EGP for his journey to Italy, and to his surprise, the total sum meant 4 days at sea in harsh conditions. When Mr. Hafez reached Greece, he was devastated and started to question his decision to leave Egypt. “I sold a piece of land, I borrowed from families/friends and I sold all the items in my failed kiosk, and till now I am still paying my journey’s debt,” Mr. Hafez said of his voyage.

Through the referral of friends, Mr. Hafez went to IOM in Greece and passed the screening phase, after which he was given a reintegration grant with which he could embark on a new — and hopefully more sustainable — opportunity.

Upon his return, Mr. Hafez decided to reopen his kiosk with his reintegration grant, but this time in a more populated district and with more intensive operations to ensure a decent cash flow and enhance the profitability of the kiosk. With around 40,000 EGP, Mr. Hafez included all sorts of food and cigarette products, as well as an ice-cream machine that contributed a great deal to the profit of the kiosk. When asking Hafez about his level of satisfaction regarding the grant he stated, “Definitely the grant helped me once again start providing to my family, without it, I would have been still sleeping in the streets of Crete.”

AVRR Egypt is composed of our core support teams that work tirelessly to support the return and reintegration of migrants. If you would like to contribute or request more information about this programme, please get in touch with us via , or .

Data from 2011 – 2015 includes Return only. Data from 2016 – 2018 includes Return and Reintegration.

This AVRR Map was designed and developed pro bono by SilverKey Technologies