Mariel came to Cyprus in August 2018 with a work permit for domestic work in Limassol. She was however released from her employer when he found out that she was pregnant. 

As a single mother facing serious difficulties with finding a job in Cyprus and supporting her child, she decided to return to the Philippines. Without any support whatsoever by the child’s father, she thought that setting up a business in Philippines would be more beneficial for her.

Mariel returned to her mother and father in Novaliches, Quezon city, an area with many factories and service providers. The reintegration assistance that she received was used to start up a mini market that would provide a steady income for her and her child. Mariel believed this would be a profitable business since there are no mini markets in her neighborhood and people must go very far to buy basic products. She also has experience working in a mini market; therefore, she was confident she would manage well. 

Mariel was very satisfied with the assistance she received from IOM as it covered all the necessary costs for her shop. The mini market was operational but due to COVID-19 it had to shut down temporarily. The business generated sufficient income to cover her and her family’s needs.