We will meet a family from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who fled as a young couple with a baby. They ran from the war and violence that was, and still is, engulfing their homeland. They left the land that they farmed and headed to Uganda, where they spent the next 20 years waiting for a new home. The family – which grew to include 7 more children (ages 18, 16, 11, 9, 7, 5,1) was originally settled in California along with the paternal grandmother. The oldest daughter (now 20) was resettled in Kentucky with her husband. After a year in California, the family moved to Arizona and has only been in Phoenix a few months. The father and mother are both working and all the children are in school and doing well. This family is very thankful to be in the USA, although their journey ahs been hard and they are struggling with some issues. Their current 2-bedroom apartment is too small for their needs, but they are making the best of it for now. A warm welcome from neighbors will be great gift.
We will also meet another family from DRC. Like the first family, mom and dad were farmers back in the DRC. The unending violence and lack of safety drove this young couple and their baby from their homeland. They made their way to Tanzania where they waited for 26 years. In that time, they had 5 more children (now ages 24, 19, 16 and twins of 13).
The oldest son of this family- the one who originally fled with his parents from DRC- remains in Tanzania. He is married with children of his own, awaiting the processing of his paperwork. The family is hopeful they will soon we reunited. All the other family members live in the same apartment complex they moved into in August.
After just a few months, in the USA, mom and dad are working, the younger children are in school and the older daughter is looking for work. They have created a lovely home and really do consider Phoenix their new home. They are happy to be getting a visit form WTAP volunteers soon.
We will visit a family of 10 from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The father, pregnant mother and oldest child left their village in 2003 because homes were being robbed and people killed in her village. They headed to Burundi where they were processed through 3 different camps before being resettled to Arizona in August of 2018. They have eight daughters ages 1 to 17. The six oldest are in school and enjoying it. The mother has a sister resettled in Texas and they found friends from the camp living in their AZ apartment complex. Their house in their village is what they miss the most. It was fully paid off. Here they have to pay rent monthly but they can live in safety.
We will also visit a father who arrived to the US before the rest of his family. He lives in a one bedroom apartment with a roommate. His country of origin is Eritrea where he experienced extreme persecution. He arrived to Arizona in September of 2018. He has six children back in Eritrea ages 4-14 living with his ailing mother. He hopes to be able to reunite with them soon.
And we will visit a single male in his fifties from Somalia.
We will meet a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The mother fled with one of her children in 2005. She remained internally displaced in the DRC before meeting up with her other children (now ages 26, 22, 21, 18). Then they fled again together to Rwanda. They were in Rwanda for over a decade waiting for asylum. The family arrived in Phoenix in August. The mother said the heat did not bother them, as it is similar to what they experienced in camp in Rwanda. When they family came, one son, a twin, got held back due to a paperwork problem. The mother misses her son terribly, as does his twin brother. They are all hoping he follows them soon. Two of the sons are working to support the family. The mother uses a wheelchair and so is confined to their home. One of the mother’s adult daughters has a little girl (3) who is full of fun and wonder; she can’t wait to get some paper and crayons of her own and was practicing her drawing on our volunteers’ notepads.
We will meet another family from the DRC. The mother (41) is here with her 5 children (ages 2, 8, 10, 13, 14). The mother’s sister lives with the family as well. Sadly, the father of the family has been detained in Rwanda, where the family fled to in 1996. They said his paperwork is processing and they hope he will join them soon. The family arrived in Phoenix in August. Besides the father who is waiting to come from Rwanda, this family also has relatives in Canada. The older children are all in school and doing well, and the mother’s sister watches the youngest child while mom works at Papa Johns. The sister is anxious to learn English.
A third family from the DRC rounds out this weekend’s visits. The father fled the DRC in 1997 when he was a young man. He met his wife, who also fled the DRC, in a refugee camp in Tanzania. They married and had their 5 children while awaiting asylum, all of whom wre born in camp. The mother and father fled their homeland while they were in school; they were never able to finish. Their children, though, did attend school in the refugee camp. The older children (ages 16, 13 and 10) are in school and happy; the younger children (ages 4 and 1) are at home with mom and really enjoyed the volunteer visitors. The father’s grandmother loves here in Phoenix. Mom has a sister in Kentucky. The family is happy to be here altogether and safe.