Our first family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and arrived to the U.S. in August. They include a husband, wife, five sons, aged 5-19, and two daughters, ages 2 nd 14. The father worked in agriculture. The wife worked as a maid. They had to flee their home when war conditions became too dangerous. They fled to Uganda where they live in a refugee camp for over ten years before coming to the U.S. Many of the children were born in the refugee camp and the others left the DRC at such a young age that they vaguely remember their homeland. All the children are enrolled in school, the parents are looking for work with the assistance of their resettlement agency. The family is happy to be in America and to be safe.
Our second family is from Syria and arrived to the United States only three weeks ago. The family includes a husband, wife, four sons, ages 6-14, and two daughters, ages 2 and nine months. The family fled Syria on foot and walked to Jordan where they lived in a camp for five years. In Syria, the father was a carpenter and the wife was a homemaker. They stated that they had a very good life. They are extremely appreciative of being resettled in the US and their opportunity to live safely and freely. The children are quickly learning to speak English and will soon be enrolled in U.S. schools.
Our third family is also from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The family includes a husband, wife, 7 daughters, ages 4-19, and a son, age 21. The father worked in textiles, managing machinery to manufacture clothes. They escaped civil war in Congo that has decimated their land and they eventually made their way to Namibia. The family was in refugee camp for over eight years. Some of the children were born in the refugee camp. The young children are enrolled in school and the older children are working to help support the family. The eldest daughter is pregnant and due soon. The family feels very fortunate to be in the U.S. and look forward to safe and rewarding lives.
Our first family is from Baghdad, Iraq. The family consists of a father, mother and 3 daughters, ages 11, 6, and 3. The father worked as a security guard for the US Armed Forces which put their lives in jeopardy after the US withdrew from Iraq. They were granted asylum in the US with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), a program for Iraqis and Afghans who have worked for the US Government. The father has a brother who has lived in Phoenix for 7 years and is helping them settle. They also have extended family still in Iraq whom they miss, but they are able to talk to them on the phone. The father has found employment, the older daughters are enrolled in school, and the mother stays at home with the youngest daughter. They are enjoying Phoenix and are hopeful for their future here.
The second family is from Homs, Syria. The family consists of a father, mother, and 4 children, ages 9, 7, 5, and 9 months. The father worked as a welder, and the mother was a homemaker. In 2012, when the war reached Homs, the family fled to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled here. They had a bit of a rough start as there were issues with their first apartment, but they are in a new apartment now, and the older children are enrolled in school. The father let us know that he wanted to thank the American government for bringing them here to live in peace, in a place where there will be a “good future for the kids.” The family is very hopeful for their future here.
Our third family is from Somalia, consisting of a single mother and her 4 children: an 18 year old daughter, a 15 year old son, and 10 year old twin sons. This family fled Somalia in 2005 when the mom was pregnant with her twins; and she delivered them on the way to the refugee camp in Kenya. At the refugee camp, the mom was able to work odd jobs to make extra money for the family to supplement their UN allotments. The boys attended school in the camp and learned English there. The daughter was not able to attend school, but was able to have an occasional tutor and learned English. The boys are enrolled in school and the daughter and the mom are looking for employment. They are grateful for the opportunity to live in America and are hopeful for their future.
Our first family is a couple from Cuba. They both participated in the Cuban Medical Program, the wife is a Medical Doctor and the husband is a Physical Therapist. They met in Venezuela while they were both working. They were then sent to Columbia, where their living situation was terrible and after 6 months, they decided to make the trip to the US to seek asylum. The wife is now working as a Youth Care Worker and the husband hopes to find work soon.
Our second family is also a couple from Cuba who participated in the Cuban Medical Program, both as Medical Doctors. They were also sent to Columbia where they lived in terrible conditions. They are both still looking for work and focusing on developing their English in the meantime.
Our third family is consists of a husband and wife. The wife was an accomplished dance instructor who toured in Africa and South America. The husband worked as a taxi driver. They faced oppression from the Cuban government and had a limited supply of food and trouble finding housing. They made their way through Mexico and were granted asylum in the US 3 months ago. Their families remain in Cuba. The couple have high hopes for life in the US. They see much opportunity and are hard at work improving their English language skills and hope to find employment soon.
Our first family is from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, and their 6 children ranging in ages from 8-23. They fled in 2013 to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled to Phoenix 2 months ago. The family had a wonderful upper middle class life before the war. The father worked as a dentist, and the mother was a homemaker. Since arriving in Phoenix, it has been a hard adjustment for them, as the father will have to wait to begin practicing as a dentist again, and the older children are planning to work for the time being, but desire to resume their university studies. The eldest son speaks proficient English and was studying to become an engineer while in Syria and briefly in Jordan, and desires to continue to pursue that field in America. The younger children are enrolled in school and learning English quickly.
The second family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, consisting of a father, mother, and their 5 children, ranging in age from 11-22. The father and mother owned a clothing store in DRC, and the father was also a pastor and volunteered with the Red Cross. During the Congolese Civil War, many different ethnicities were fighting each other and the father belonged to two ethnicities, Bembe and Mulenge, and was thus targeted by both sides of his own family. They fled in 2006 to Uganda, and then Kenya, where they stayed until being resettled 1 month ago. Fortunately, the children were able to attend school while in their refugee camp, and all speak English very well. The children have not yet been enrolled in school, but will be soon, and they are eager to begin attending again. The parents and adult children are also eager to begin working and planning their lives in America. The father would also like to pursue becoming a pastor again or assist within the administration of a church.
The third family is also from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, and their 6 children, ranging in age from 6-16. They fled in 2012 to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled 2 months ago. Before the war in Syria they enjoyed an upper middle class life where the father worked in IT and the mother was a homemaker. In Jordan, the father studied massage therapy to help support his family. They still have some family in Syria and Jordan which they have not been able to keep in contact with them, which is stressful for the family. All of the children are enrolled in school and enjoying it, but miss their homeland.