One family we will visit is from Cuba. The father (34) was a pastor and a mason worker in Cuba. He recounts stories of the government closing down his church and then raiding the homes where his faith community gathered after the church was closed. He is happy to be in the USA where he and his family can practice their religion freely. The mother (44) was also a pastor in Cuba. She remembers growing up as a Christian in Cuba. She was isolated and taunted in school as a child because of her religion. Their children had similar experiences in school. They were hit by their teachers in school and ostracized from other children because of their beliefs. The children (8 and 6) are now attending school in Arizona. They enjoying school, but hey are struggling a little because of the language barrier. The parents are glad to be safe and free in the United States, where they have found a supportive church. They are extremely grateful to WTAP for helping them.
Another family we will visit is from Burma. The father (43) and mother (27) have three children (7, 3 and 1). The mother and father spent about ten years in Thailand before they came to the United States. All of their children were born in Thailand. The mother has some family in Phoenix. The father is working to learn English. The older daughter is attending school and she is doing well. The family is happy to be in the USA and is thankful for the help they will receive from WTAP.
The third family we will visit is from Somalia. The father (24), mother (20) and son (1) have been in Arizona for just over two months. Their journey to the USA has been long and has taken them through many countries. The father was born in Somalia, but his family fled to Ethiopia when he was a boy. He grew up in Ethiopia where he was able to attend school. He speaks English very well. He traveled from Ethiopia to Kenya, then to Uganda, then to Sudan, and then to Libya. He met his wife in Libya. The mother grew up in Somalia. When she was sixteen years old, she fled the country with friends in search of a better life. She landed in Libya, where she met her husband. After they were married the political situation in Libya deteriorated so they fled to Tunisia, where their son was born. According to the family, Tunisia was not very welcoming to refugees. On the positive side they received refugee status relatively quickly because of the situation in Tunisia. They are happy to be in Arizona and their son is adjusting well. He will celebrate his first birthday in the USA! The father has already secured some job interviews. The family is grateful for WTAP’s assistance.