Amadu Barrie’s journey from being a returnee to becoming the owner of a thriving solar installation company in Freetown, Sierra Leone, serves as an inspiring example of personal transformation.

Amadu Barrie’s story began in 2015 when he set out with the hope of reaching Europe in search of job opportunities. However, his path took an unexpected turn when he encountered a solar technician in Morocco during his journey. The technician recognized his potential and offered him an apprenticeship. Two years passed, and while Europe remained out of reach, Amadu’s skills and knowledge in solar technology grew.

In 2018, with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Amadu made the decision to return to Sierra Leone. Upon returning home, he was determined to put his newfound skills to good use. Instead of simply starting anew, he transformed the reintegration assistance he received from IOM into the foundation for his own solar installation business.

Today, Amadu proudly owns and operates his solar installation company, providing sustainable energy solutions to the community. His journey serves as an inspiring example of how skills acquired abroad can be harnessed for local entrepreneurship and community development.

Amadu Barrie shared his story, saying, “I run my own solar installation company, and I look forward to sharing this skill with fellow returnees.”

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) played a vital role in facilitating the safe return of Sierra Leonean migrants stranded overseas via charter flight. Working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone, IOM ensured a dignified return for these individuals. Before the flight’s scheduling, the returnees underwent a rigorous online verification process conducted by Sierra Leone’s Immigration Department to confirm their nationalities.

Upon their arrival in Sierra Leone, IOM staff registered the returnees and provided immediate assistance, including cash, food, water, and onward transportation. In the coming weeks, these returnees will receive comprehensive reintegration support tailored to address their economic, social, and psychosocial needs.

This successful reintegration program, which has assisted more than 5,000 Sierra Leoneans stranded along migration routes from 2017 to November 18, 2023, reflects the commitment of IOM and the Government of Sierra Leone to support the returnees in rebuilding their lives and contributing to their communities.