Return to Sierra Leone
The Dutch government has decided that you must leave the Netherlands within a short time. If you are thinking about returning to your country of origin, the Dutch Council for Refugees can help you in this process. Examining your possibilities will enable you to take a good decision on your future.
The Dutch government has money for people who return independently. Various organisations can apply for this money for you. It is paid out partly in the form of goods and services (in kind). At some organisations, for example, you can take a short training course to learn a certain trade, and at other organisations you can receive assistance in working out a future plan and at others obtain tools for your own business. The financial value of the support in goods or services is the same at each organisation. You can only apply to one organisation at a time. The government monitors this.
In addition to this assistance, there is support under the REAN scheme (Return and Emigration Assistance from the Netherlands). IOM (International Organization for Migration) is the organisation that implements this scheme on commission from the government. Under REAN you can obtain counselling, a plane ticket, assistance in obtaining travel documents and an allowance for the initial needs. IOM also provides assistance with the actual return voyage. The Dutch Council for Refugees or other organisations that help with return can assist you in applying to IOM for such support. You must however meet several conditions.
What contributions are there?
The contributions for return to Sierra Leone are:
- € 1800 for an adult, of which no more than € 300 in cash.
- € 2800 for a child travelling along or an unaccompanied minor, of which no more than € 300 in cash.
For example: a family of 2 adults and one minor child will receive € 1800 + € 1800 + € 2800 = € 6400. Of this total amount no more than € 900 will be paid in cash.
In addition, under the REAN scheme you can for example obtain an airline ticket and additional cash (€ 200 for an adult, € 40 for a child travelling along).
Which organizations assist with return?
- The Dutch Council for Refugees supports you based on the project Met Opgeheven Hoofd 2 (With Head Held High 2) in thinking about your future possibilities. If you are thinking about returning to your country of origin, the Dutch Council for Refugees can assist you with your preparations. If you want us to do so, we can put you in contact with a partner organization in your country. This organization has a network there and knowledge of the political and economic situation. We first discuss with you the possibilities, for example for work, your own business, contacting family again, training, medical care or housing. After returning, you will be received by the partner organization in your country of origin, which will assist you with reintegration and investment of the available money.
- Goedwerk Foundation offers solutions for return aimed at your personal situation. The team of Goedwerk Foundation consists experts, social workers and trainers who speak English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Farsi, Pashtu and Dari. Together with you they carefully prepare your return and offer support in, for example, obtaining documents, an embassy visit, medical assistance, contact with family members and making a future plan to invest the funds. In addition, they can offer guidance on the flight if necessary. Goedwerk Foundation uses partner organizations (via the network of the Dutch Council for Refugees) in various countries of origin and also has its own network of returnees in various countries.
- IOM , Internationale Organisation for Migration, can help you to resume your life at home again after you return. Via IOM, after your return for example you can invest in housing, training or a business. You will not receive cash for this, but you will spend the in-kind scheme in cooperation with the IOM office in your country of origin.
- Stichting WereldWijd supports participants in starting their own business. People who participate in the WereldTools (WorldTools) project receive a crate of materials, tools and machines in order to return to work as soon as possible after returning to their country of origin. WereldWijd and IOM work together to arrange this.
- Solid Road offers support through personal coaching and guidance in the Netherlands and, together with you, makes a plan for spending your funds. Solid Road also offers guidance at Schiphol on the day of departure and in the country of origin, by partner organizations that help you build a new life. You can also follow training in the Netherlands (free of charge) so you can learn a trade in order to provide for yourself after your return. Solid Road has employees who speak Arabic, Kurdish, English, French, Dutch and German.
- Stichting ROS has projects including Vice Versa 5.0. With this project you can receive support if you return voluntarily to your country of origin, aimed at your personal situation. Together with a return coach from your own country, you prepare for your return, you make a future plan together and see how you want to spend the return funds. You can undergo training or take a course so that you can start working after you return. After you return you will be assisted by a partner in your country of origin.
Which cooperation partners can help you in your country of origin?
Partner organisations in your country of origin can give you information on the situation in your country and support and assist you when you return.
- The Dutch Council for Refugees works together with the organization Caritas BO. They assist people from Sierra Leone who have returned (both individuals and families) in starting a new life. They can pick up returnees at the airport, help them to find (temporary) accommodation and support them in setting up a small business or finding work. They also help to find good training or education, useful contacts and networks and, where necessary, they refer clients to healthcare institutions. The Dutch Council for Refugees maintains contact with the partner organization until a year after return so they can hear how you are doing.
- If you have chosen support by IOM, colleagues from the IOM Office in Sierra Leone will help you to spend the contribution in kind-money. You can use this sum, for example for rent, a study program, training, purchasing for a business etc.
- The other organizations often work together as well with a local partner in your country of origin. Which one this is and what the partner can do for you may vary.