Dried Fruit Production and Sale

Example picture (flickr.com, Raffi Youredjian)

In 2013, Aram A., 50 years-old, left Armenia and came to Belgium for medical reasons. Here, he passed medical check-ups, was operated and received treatments.  In 2016, Aram decided to return to his home country and applied for a voluntary return at Caritas International Belgium.

Back home he would have no sources of income and would live with his family. During the preparation session with a counsellor from Caritas Belgium, he talked about his previous work experience and skills. The idea of purchasing a car to transport vegetables and fruits from his farm to the market was raised and discussed in detail. They also assessed his medical needs. As a result, he was granted an in-kind reintegration support and a medical support.

Upon return to Armenia, he immediately contacted Armenian Caritas, in Yerevan, and fixed a first appointment. On this first meeting, they assessed his needs and exchanged ideas on his income-generating project. After discussing his plan in depth, he signed a social service provision contract. During the first six months after return, he purchased a car within the framework of the project and started farming and transporting fruits and vegetables. He also began to make dried fruits in order to sell them. Indeed, before travelling to Belgium, Aram had already been involved in dried fruit production. He met with Armenian Caritas on several occasions to receive feedback and advice. The costs for his medication and medical examinations were covered with the in-kind medical support.

In March 2017, Caritas Belgium contacted him to see how his situation had evolved and he was happy to answer our questions. He said he was very satisfied about Caritas’ assistance and still received a medical assistance to buy his medicine.

Aram has applied to the Migration and Development project which is another project implemented by Armenian Caritas for returnees from the EU states and hopes to get a non-interest loan to reconstruct his dried fruit production.