Our first family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, consisting of a father, age 68, mother, age 53, their six children, ranging in age from 12-22, and two grandchildren, ages 3 and 2. They all arrived together to Arizona in June, except their oldest son, age 33, who remains in the refugee camp with his own wife and children. They fled DRC 19 years ago and settled in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Prior to fleeing, both parents were farmers. Both teenage daughters are attending school and enjoying it. The mother and adult children are focusing on finding employment but they are hopeful that the their older children will have the opportunity to return to school in the future. The mother hopes to find employment so that she can support the family as her husband is unable to work presently because of a medical condition. The father’s sister has lived in Arizona for 12 years, speaks fluent English, and has been a great asset in their resettlement.
Our second family is also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, consisting of a father, age 50, mother age 48, two adult twin daughters age 20, four sons ranging from 13 to 18, and one 10 year old daughter. The mother speaks English very well. Both parents were upper middle class, the father was a university professor and photographer and the mother was a social worker. The father published photos of the war and was then targeted by the government, so they fled to a refugee camp in Zimbabwe where they lived for 13 years. The father owned a small shop in the camp, and the mother taught French. She also worked as a counselor at the camp’s hospital and was Vice Chairman of Education in the camp. They arrived to Arizona in May 2016. The father and adult daughters are already working in a warehouse, and the daughters are studying for their GED. The other 5 children are all enrolled in school and enjoying it. The mother emphasized the importance of education in their family and that the family is most excited about having that opportunity once again in America. She proudly shared a video of her twin sons who had been rugby players in Zimbabwe and are now star players on their high school’s football team. They were recently featured on a local TV station because of their athletic accomplishments so soon after arriving in America.
Our third family is two unaccompanied minors from Eritrea. They both spent a few years in a refugee camp with other Eritrean minors. They were both resettled to Phoenix within the last few months and are attending High School. One is learning English quickly, receiving good grades, and would like to start looking for a part time job soon. The other is learning English progressively, and is on the Cross Country and Soccer team at his school. Both are excited to be in America and to pursue the opportunities they now have.
The first family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have been in the U.S. for three weeks. The family includes a husband, age 24, and wife, age 23. They have a daughter, age 2, and son, age 9 months. The couple fled from the Congo as very young children when their two families had to find safety from war. The couple, who are from the same region in DRC, have lived for nearly 20 years in a refugee camp in Uganda. They met and married in the camp, where both children were born. His parents remain in the camp, as does her sister. While in camp, the husband found work in social service as a youth leader. He speaks English very well, and wants to quickly find work in the United States to support his family and hopefully reunite with family members still in camp.
The second family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been in the U.S. for only a few weeks. The family includes a husband, age 43, and wife, age 31. They have six children (four sons and two daughters), ages 2 through 12. The husband was a farmer in Congo until the family had to flee the region and its civil war. They eventually made their way to refugee camp in Uganda, where they have been for many years. Many of the children were born in refugee camp and have not had a true sense of home. The children will soon start school and they family looks forward to safety and opportunity in our country.
Our third family is from Syria and includes a husband, wife and their two sons, ages 9 and 7. They fled Syria five years ago after war erupted in their region. The traveled to Jordan and were provided temporary shelter by a local family. The left a very good life in Syria, they said, that changed tragically for them, their family and their many friends when war disrupted their peaceful existence. They left Syria with few possessions. The father was a chauffeur in Syria but could not work in Jordan. The children were excellent students. They have been in the U.S. for almost three months and said they are thankful for the U.S. and our friendly, caring citizens.
The first family is from Cuba, consisting of a husband, wife, and their adult son. This is a family reunification case. The wife’s parents live in Arizona and it took 2 years to petition to ensure the whole family could be resettled together. The husband finished middle school and worked in construction. The mother finished High School and worked in the dental field. The are awaiting their employment documentation so they can start work here.
The second family is from Afghanistan, consisting of a mother and 4 children (ages 21, 19, 12 and 7). The mother was a language teacher in Afghanistan. Their father was killed in Afghanistan so they fled to Pakistan where they lived for 2 years. They were originally resettled to Michigan, but there was not a large Afghani community and poor transportation, so they decided to come to Arizona. They are happy here, but say it is very hot compared to Afghanistan. The oldest son worked in a store in Pakistan, and is now working at the airport for a car rental company. He would like to go to school to become a doctor. The oldest daughter would like to become a teacher. Both of the adult children speak English fairly well. The 2 younger children will be attending school soon and already enjoy the friends they’ve made at their apartment complex.
The third family is from Iraq, consisting of a mother and her 3 sons ages 21, 16 and 8. The father was killed in Iraq so the mother left with her boys to Turkey, where she lived until being resettled here. The oldest son has already begun working and the two younger sons are attending school. The mother is focusing on learning English. She also has a married daughter living in Iraq and another married daughter who lives in Turkey.
There are only a few more days until our Welcome Breakfast, where we’ll celebrate 15 years of welcoming refugees to the Phoenix area! Our speakers include Wasan, a refugee from Iraq, who will share her family’s journey, fleeing persecution to resettlement and prosperous lives of safety and opportunity. Also speaking, Phoenix, Arizona mayor Greg Stanton! Don’t miss out on this inspirational, educational, and free event! RSVP here