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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 12:51 GMT
Working home and away
A new report published by the World Bank says migrant workers sending money home has become the biggest source of foreign income in some poor European countries.

But why do they need to send money home and do they feel it makes a difference to their economies?

In these personal accounts the BBC finds out the how much people are sending home and why the money can make such a difference.

Supporting parents in Bulgaria

Asya Mircheva, 29, lives here with her husband and seven-year-old son. She is a cleaning manager in an apartment building.

Asya and her son
Asya and her husband send money to her parents

My husband and I send about 1% of our annual income home.

Basically all of our money we spend in the UK, and it covers the bills, rent and taxes. We send money to support our parents in Bulgaria as they are retired and get very small pensions.

They use the money to buy some food and to pay the bills, such as electricity and water.

We send it case of emergencies and especially in the winter period when the bills are higher. We don't think it helps the economy develop as we send such a small amount, but yes it helps our parents to survive.

Emergencies in the Philippines

Madonna Torres, 37, works in finance department of a corporate media company.

How often do I send money home?

I send it irregularly; and when I do send home it is in the region of 300, for a family emergency, when someone's sick, funeral expenses or something like that.

What I tend to do is put money in my bank account there, so that when I get there I'll have the cash. It's been done a few times, but mostly people send money door-to-door, to a designated person that they nominated.

My father retired back to the Philippines, and his pension is paid into his bank account over there.

I would say that the income from overseas definitely subsidises the Philippine economy. It would not surprise me if the statistics show that the income of workers overseas is a significant chunk of the Philippine economy.

Additional support to Bulgaria

Rositsa Pavlova, 29, is in the UK on a Chevening Scholarship for an MSc in evidence-based social intervention

Rositsa Pavlova
Rosita is working while she studies

I am working part-time taking care of children and I send about 10% of my monthly income to my family in Bulgaria.

The money I send is for additional support, utility expenses, and when extra money is needed for Christmas presents, birthdays and other celebrations.

The money doesn't mean anything to the economy, but does support my family.

Poor economy in Poland

Monica Aniszewska works as a member of an airline cabin crew

I have been sending money home to Poland for the past five years.

The amount I earn depends on how much I can send. The economic situation in Poland is very bad and without the money I send, my parents would not be able to live.

My parents both live on pensions and the money I send home covers their rent.

For example, my mother worked for 24 years and for that receives 100 a month in her pension, which would only cover the rent.

If I did not send the money home they would not have enough for essentials such as food and clothing.

As well as the money, I also send parcels home, anything that can help my parents. Many of my friends are doing a similar thing. We do not think that the money really helps the economy, it just helps our parents get by.

While I am working here I am trying to build a house in Poland; but there is a lot of work to do and I tend to save money for larger work on it, such as roof.

It might take another three or four years to complete, but even then I will still work abroad so I can still send money to my parents, as they are my main focus.

Appreciation in Bulgaria

Tsvetoslava Hatt, 25, works for a cleaning company in the UK. She came from her small town in the North of Bulgaria looking for an adventure and to earn more money.

I have been working in the UK for five years.

More often than not I can't afford to send money back home. Most of it is spent on bills, rent and living expenses.

I try to help my family every chance I get; I would say I bring about 300 per year for my mum, dad and sister when I visit.

As both of my parents are still working and my sister gets a scholarship they are capable of supporting themselves for now, so the money I leave there is mainly for emergencies. I do not think that I am giving a lot, it's just a gesture of appreciation.

I would say it helps the local economy because it lets them buy goods which they wouldn't under other circumstances.

Money sent home 'more than aid'
16 Jan 07 |  Business

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