Return to Sierra Leone
If you are thinking about returning to Sierra Leone, this page will provide you with information about what allowances are available and which organisations can help you return.
Independent return to your country of origin
Choosing to return to your country yourself is not easy. Sometimes it is difficult to return for practical reasons. For example, if you do not have the necessary travel documents.
Sometimes there are emotional reasons that make the decision to return difficult. For example, feelings of shame, failure or uncertainty about the future. Sometimes you also have to rebuild a social network in your country and search for a home and job.
If you are thinking about leaving the Netherlands, several organisations can help you return to your country of origin. Help from these organisations is free.
Allowances for returning
Basic allowance (REAN)
You will receive a basic allowance according to the REAN scheme. REAN stands for 'Return and Emigration Assistance from the Netherlands'. The REAN scheme reimburses:
An airline ticket
Assistance in obtaining travel documents
€ 200 in cash for an adult and €40 for a child travelling with you. You will receive this cash at Schiphol on the day of departure.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) pays you this allowance. The organisation helping you return can apply to the IOM for the allowance on your behalf.
Allowance for reintegration
You can receive an additional allowance from the Dutch government to make a fresh start in your country of origin. You get the allowance to pay for goods or services for this purpose. There are several organisations with projects that provide the reintegration allowance in the country of origin.
For example, you can use the allowance to attend training or pay for supplies for your own business. You can get a small part of the allowance in cash. The allowance is:
€1,800 for an adult (maximum €300 cash).
€2,800 for an accompanying child or an unaccompanied minor child (maximum €300 in cash).
Organisations that can help you in the Netherlands
VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN) can assist you with your return. VWN can also put you in touch with a partner organisation in your country of origin.
VWN only works with partner organisations that do not work for your country's government. You can ask the organisation questions about the situation in your country. For example, about safety, work, healthcare or your family.
In the Netherlands, VWN helps you make a plan for your return. VWN also makes sure that the partner organisation is ready for you when you arrive in your country. VWN and the partner organisation can support you for up to 1 year after your arrival.
After your return, Stichting Wereldwijd supports you in starting your own business. You get a box with materials, tools and machines. This will allow you to get to work quickly after your return. Stichting Wereldwijd works with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to arrange this properly for you.
Stichting ROS offers support in returning to your country of origin, focusing on your personal situation. Together with a return coach from your country of origin, you prepare for your return, make a future plan together and look at how you want to spend the return funds. You can undergo training or a course so that you can start working after your return, through the network of ERSO or IOM.
GoedWerk Foundation offers return assistance based on your personal situation. GoedWerk Foundation employs people who have also previously returned to their country of origin, social workers and trainers. GoedWerk Foundation prepares you for the return. Goedwerk Foundation cooperates with a partner organisation in your country of origin and supports you in:
Visiting the embassy
Contacting family members
Creating a plan for reintegration compensation
The return journey
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
IOM can help you get off to a good start after returning. Together with IOM, you can spend the REAN allowance after arriving in your country. For example, on a house, an education or starting a business. For this, IOM will put you in contact with the IOM office in your country of origin.
Solid Road offers personal coaching and guidance for your return to the Netherlands. Solid Road will make a plan with you on how to spend your reintegration allowance. Through Solid Road you can undergo training free of charge in the Netherlands before your return.
Solid Road also offers guidance at Schiphol Airport on the day of departure and works with a partner organisation in your country who will receive you.
Repatriation & Departure Service (DT&V)
The DT&V encourages an independent return and considers it important that you return independently by preparing well for departure and, where necessary, receiving reintegration support in your country of origin.
If an NGO cannot provide support or if IOM cannot arrange travel documents, help can be requested from DT&V. DT&V itself will then try to apply for a laissez-passer (LP) or replacement travel document, book a ticket or provide money for the return trip.
Cooperation organisations in country of origin
Partner organisations in your country of origin can provide you with information about the situation in your country and support and guide you when you return.
VluchtelingenWerk works in Sierra Leone with the organisation Caritas Bo. They support returning Sierra Leoneans (both individuals and families) in starting a new life. They can meet returnees at the airport, help them in the search for (temporary) housing and support them in setting up a small business or finding work. They also help them find suitable training or education, useful contacts and networks, and refer clients to health institutions where necessary. VluchtelingenWerk keeps in touch with the partner organisation for up to a year after your return to find out how you are doing.
If you have opted for IOM support, colleagues at the IOM office in Sierra Leone help you spend the money. You can use this money for e.g. rent, education, training, purchases for a company, etc.
Other organisations also often work with a local partner in your country of origin. Which one this is and what the partner can do for you may vary.