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Family Bios: August 24, 2019

We will meet a young family from Burma (Myanmar) this weekend. The father and mother are Rohingya, one of the most persecuted ethnic minorities in the world. The father said he worked across the order in Bangladesh for some time. When it became too dangerous to go back and forth between Burma and Bangladesh because of the violence in Burma, he ran to Malaysia and sent for his wife. While they were waiting for asylum for 7 years in Malaysia, they had a little girl and a little boy. They are now pregnant with their third child.  The family was first resettled in Utah. They arrived in Phoenix in May 2019. Since they could only afford to come from Utah with their car, they were not able to bring many of their belongings; they are setting up a new home from scratch, again. The father already has a job and has learned English quite well since they arrived in the USA. The older daughter is in school. Mom is at home with their toddler son and is looking forward to the new baby.

We will also visit a single gentleman from Iraq. He has been in Phoenix for almost 5 years, but he recently lost his apartment when the rent was dramatically increased and then had a heart attack and wound up in the hospital for a little while. He is back on his feet and in a new place, which WTAP will help to make a home.  In Iraq, our client was a lawyer. He is studying now to try to improve his English (which he speaks quite well already) so as to take the bar exam here and one day be able to practice law again. He also assisted the US Armed Forces while in Iraq, and so was forced to flee his country to insure his safety. Our client is working as a cashier at the moment and is happy to be on the mend after his recent health issues. He has family in Texas and California, whom he recently visited. He mentioned that the best part about America is the people. He is looking forward to our volunteers coming to visit.

We will visit another family from Iraq: a mother and her two grown sons. In Iraq, the mother taught 4th grade and both of the sons were in school. The older son said that life in Iraq was very, very difficult – no safety, no security, no prospects, no hope. They are all very grateful to be here building a new life.  The sons both speak English very well and their mother is learning. The boys have jobs and hope to have more education and eventually better jobs. They also have family here in the Valley who have been able to help them in their transition. The sons are especially excited to meet some Americans about their age during the upcoming WTAP welcome. They have a Monopoly game that they are hoping someone can help them learn how to play!

Family Bios: August 17, 2019

This weekend, we will visit two families from Eritrea, where civil war and persecution have been a constant in their lives. The first family includes a mother, her brother and her three children (ages 11, 10 and 8). The next is a family of four, including the father, mother and two children (ages 4 and 1). Both families arrived within the last few months and we will learn more about them and their journeys this weekend.

Family Bios: August 10, 2019

This weekend, we will visit a family of 6 who has recently arrived to Phoenix from Pennsylvania, where they first arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The mom, and her five children (ages 17, 15, 11, 7, 2, and 4 months) decided to move to Phoenix because they have family living here. The mom works for a hair product company, and the oldest daughter works at Whataburger. Four of the siblings are going to school in the Alhambra Elementary School District. The family is happy to be in Phoenix, where they are closer to the rest of their family.

We will also visit a family of 5 from Syria and a family of 11 from the Congo. We will welcome and learn more about these families on Saturday.

Family Bios: August 3, 2019

This weekend we will visit an apartment with roommates, one gentleman from Afghanistan and another from Eritrea.  The young man, age 18, from Eritrea left his country when he was 14, staying in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four months.  He then went to Sudan where he stayed 8 months, and then to Egypt where he applied for refugee placement.  He arrived in Arizona in June of this year.  He would like to go to school and learn computer science, and hopes to help his family in the future.  We will learn more about his roommate from Afghanistan on our visit on Saturday. They communicate with signs since they do not speak a common language.

We will also visit a family who is originally from the Congo.  The mother, son (age 14) and four daughters (ages 3, 6, 9 and 11) arrived in June, but the oldest son (age 24) arrived about 8 months ago.  They are all living together, and the oldest son is working. The mother has some medical issues she is trying to resolve in order to be able to start working. Before they left the Congo, the father was a farmer and the mother sold the food at different markets.  The mother and her oldest son left the Congo in 2005 and stayed in a refugee camp in Rwanda. The son was able to complete high school and learned English.  They are grateful to be here and appreciate the opportunities, peace, apartment, school and friends they have met.

We will also see a mother and her three children from Ethiopia. We’ll visit with them and learn more about their journey on Saturday.