Returning home to plant a new life in Moldova

Returning home to plant a new life in Moldova

When we decided to return home I still had worries about opening my small business. I had no idea how to begin.

Vera Craciun, floral shop owner

CONTEXT

Currently about 370 000 Moldovans (11% of the population) work abroad as long-term labour migrants, with 59% intending to return permanently to Moldova. The EU is helping Moldovans reach their personal migration goals from pre-departure to return. NEXUS Moldova is funded by the EU and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It is implemented from 2013 to 2015 by a consortium of partners led by the Austrian NGO IASCI (International Agency for Source Country Information).

OBJECTIVES

  • To strengthen the link between migration and development in Moldova.
  • To help Moldovans reach their personal migration goals from pre-departure to return.

RESULTS

  • 4 pilot NEXUS Service Centres were created within the broader NEXUS Moldova initiative.
  • Partnerships with local and national public authorities and service providers from private and civil sectors were established.
  • A virtual service centre was set up to provide access to services online from anywhere.
  • NEXUS contributed to the creation of the specialised government entity: Bureau for Diaspora Relations.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 44 000 Moldovans have returned home since 1992, after working abroad for more than a year.
  • Another 56 000 intend to leave the country in search of a job.
  • NEXUS benefits destination countries by preparing migrants on entry conditions, language skills, legal and labour issues and culture.

TESTIMONY

Migrant workers return home and find their business opportunity

The residents of Basarabeasca, Moldova, were quite astonished to see a floral shop opening in their small town. They were even more surprised to learn that the shop was run by a family from their town, who had returned home after twelve years of working abroad. "I was very surprised too, but I am so happy that my dream came true after so many years" confessed Vera Craciun, the 41 year-old owner of the shop.

Vera and her husband returned home and in less than one month had set up a profitable business. "I had no idea on how to begin, what legal procedures I needed to follow to register a company, how to open a bank account, or where to go for tax and social registrations" said Vera.

She heard about the NEXUS Service Centre in Cahul from a short news video on a local web portal popular among Moldovan migrants.  Vera was impressed and decided to visit the centre. "I received not only the information and guidance I needed, but they actually accompanied me to the Registration Chamber and other public institutions dealing with business registration. I expect it would have taken me months to complete the registration process without their" she said.

The NEXUS Service Centres, along with their partners from the public, private and civil society sectors, provide a broad range of useful information and quality services.Their clients are Moldovans intending to leave to find work outside Moldova, those already working abroad and those who have returned. NEXUS also helps members of migrant families, like children left at home, parents, other relatives or even neighbours taking care of migrant family members. "Since the migration phenomenon is so prevalent in our society, migrants are too often perceived negatively. We are working to change this perception by offering relevant services to those who have decided to go abroad for a job, helping them prepare for taking this important step in their lives, or to those who have returned and want to reintegrate efficiently back into their home community. Vera is a very good example of the latter and we are proud of what she has accomplished" explained Carolina Cartofeanu, Director of NEXUS Cahul.

Vera and her husband are already planning to expand their business into floral decorations and flower delivery and they are sure where they will go for advice.