She came to Cyprus with a luggage full of dreams and hopes for a better future, to work and prosper. Meet Kalawathi from Sri Lanka, a woman with inner strength and courage.

“I came to Cyprus in 2009 to work as a domestic worker. I was the only person in my family who was working and I needed to support my two children and my unemployed husband”. After leaving her husband back home, Kalawathi decided to move to Cyprus to work and send money to the family.

“Life in Cyprus was very good. I have been working as a domestic worker and helping an elder person with the daily chores”, said Kalawathi.

In a life full of surprises, Kalawathi was involved in an accident which left her with critical injuries but her courage and need for life led her to a battle to overcome this difficult situation. In this moment, the Consulate of Sri Lanka referred Kalawathi to IOM Cyprus, which stood by her as a strong supporter.

Through the IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme (AVRR), Kalawathi received a health assessment and fit to travel checks. IOM Cyprus, in coordination with IOM Sri Lanka, made the preparation of travel possible for Kalawathi, providing her with a medical escort to ensure she would arrive in safety to the last point of destination, Colombo. Upon arrival, she was transferred by ambulance to the rehabilitative hospital.

And as for her health issues, Kalawathi has received reintegration assistance from IOM, which includes medical assistance and healthcare treatment at the governmental hospital in Kurunegala, where she will be able to recover and reintegrate into the local community.

IOM gives priority assistance to vulnerable groups of migrants and supports member-states helping them address health-related issues of migrants, follow-up, and continuity of care.