Mohamed, a seventeen-year-old boy, came to Cyprus in 2019 in a boat without knowing which destination he was going to, but simply followed a close family friend who wanted a better life than the one they had in Lebanon. Their aim was to go to another European country, but they ended up in Cyprus instead.
They have filed an application for international protection. Mohamed did not say goodbye to his parents when he left Lebanon and his parents were not informed that he was leaving Lebanon. He decided to return to Lebanon because he missed his family and felt sorry that he left without saying goodbye.
He was very eager to return to his family and when preparations for his return were taking place, he was very happy. Preparations included a family assessment, the location of family members in Lebanon, as well as the issuance of the travel documents, all in cooperation with Lebanese authorities and in coordination with the Social Welfare Services in Cyprus as legal guardians.
Mohamed returned to Tripoli to live with his parents, at least at the beginning. He initially applied for rent assistance as his parents’ house was too small to accommodate him and his seven siblings and therefore, he would be better off staying in a separate flat. With his mother not working and his father occasionally finding a job as a constructor, his family’s financial situation can be described as very poor.
Mohamed had received reintegration assistance to stay separate from his parents, but he later changed his mind and decided to set up a fishing business. With many friends and relatives who are fishermen, he used IOM’s assistance to buy fishing equipment so that he could sell the fish in the market, earn money, and support himself and his family financially.