My name is Célia*. I live in Angola.
I returned to Angola in 2010 with my mother and my niece Felicidade. Deciding to return was a difficult decision, especially since my mother was ill and I had my six-year-old niece with me. I might have chosen a different path if I had been in the Netherlands alone, but I had to think about my family. I knew that it would be hard on them to remain there without papers.
We came to the Netherlands in search of medical treatment for my mother and education for my niece. We were very disappointed that we were not allowed to stay. I was especially worried about how this would affect my niece.
At first it was also not easy being back in Angola. Sometimes I still wish we could have stayed in the Netherlands. Luckily, we have some friends in Angola who helped us find a place to rent. The landlord is nice and patient with us when we are late with the rent. My niece is happy at school; however, my mother’s health is not improving.
With the support we received, we paid my niece’s school fees, we purchased medication for my mother and I set up a small sewing shop. Opening a sewing shop in Angola brought with it many challenges, so I have changed my focus to purchasing second-hand clothing in bulk for resale in the market. I make just enough to support my mother, my niece and myself.
Sometimes I think I would like to go back to the Netherlands, but only with the right papers. It would be good for my mother because medical treatment is much better over there.
*All names are fictitious