My name is Chris Opoku Mensah. Before I left Ghana, I worked as a radio presenter in one of the prestigious radio stations in Kumasi.
In 2013, due to the frequent power cuts, the station had to let some of its staff go. I was affected by the redundancy, and decided to travel to Dubai to seek better opportunities.
In Dubai, I started doing menial jobs. I upgraded myself in Information Technology (IT) to build my capacity while continuing to work these jobs. After a few years, I got the opportunity to teach IT in Doha. The pay was reasonable. After five years, I wanted to reunite with my family by inviting them to Dubai but the contract on which I was did not allow me to do so.
In 2020, I decided to travel to Georgia to expand my economic prospects and to bring my family over. In the first month, things were fine but then COVID-19 struck.
I was working as an IT technician. My employer initially allowed us to work from home with half pay but after one month we were laid off. I spent all my savings and was left with nothing. Things became very difficult for me, and I longed to return to Ghana, my home country.
I discussed my intentions with a Cameroonian friend who had benefited from IOM support, and he gave me some guidance. I quickly contacted IOM Georgia and the rest is history.
I am grateful to IOM for giving me the opportunity to return home. The reintegration support I received has given me a lifeline. With the support of family and friends I have opened a small shop where I sell electronic gadgets, shoes, clothes, and different kinds of bags. I also sell online and so my business is improving steadily.
It is my dream to open a big warehouse that sells ‘everything household’.
Chris’ return to Ghana was supported through IOM Georgia’s AVRR (Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration) programme.