Our first visit will be to a single woman (62) from Iraq. In Iraq, she worked in a lab as a microbiologist. Her lab was broken into multiple times, and the security system was destroyed. She still wanted to remain in Iraq; but after her church was also attacked, she fled to Jordan. She was in Jordan 16 months. She did return to Iraq once during her stay in Jordan, in order to finish some work at the lab. Unfortunately, while back in Iraq, she was robbed of most of her savings. This woman has now been in the USA for 7 weeks. As soon as she has proper documentation, she hopes to visit family members in the Bay area. She is also hopeful of finding a job here in the USA. She is fluent in English.
We will be visiting a second single woman (28) from Iraq. She fled with her mother- her only family- to Jordan six years ago. In Jordan, she was able to finish a Masters in Computer Science, with a focus on network security. Her mother remains in Jordan, and has applied for refugee status. She is hopeful they will be reunited. This young woman would like to work, but suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is concerned about her physical abilities. Despite her illness, she is optimistic and has already made friends in the area. She understands English very well, and can speak some too.
The last family we will visit is from the Congo. The father (37) and mother (30) have five children, ages thirteen, nine, seven, six and three. In 1996, there was an ethnic war in the Congo. When the war was over, the tribe to which this family belongs, the Banyamulenge, was persecuted by other tribes. The family did not feel safe so they fled to Zambia, where they lived as refugees for four years. Their youngest child was born in the refugee camp. In the Congo, the father worked first in a water purification plant, and then as a farmer. While in Zambia, he was also able to find work in a shop. The mother was a stay at home mom, and the children were all able to attend school. The father speaks Kinyarawanda and French, and understands some English. The mother only speaks Kinyarawanda. They have been in the USA for two months, and four of the children are in school. This family has another family member in their same apartment complex, whom they often see.