Family Bios: April 29, 2017

One family we will visit is also from Iraq. The mom (54) lives with her 3 grown daughters (ages 29, 27, 26). The eldest daughter has been in Phoenix for 16 months; the rest of the family arrived in December 2016 after waiting 7 years to be granted asylum. In Iraq, the 2 older daughters worked in a bank and the younger daughter was a physical fitness trainer. All three young women speak English and are employed; the mother is going to English classes. The family is happy to be here and all together. They especially like the weather in Phoenix which reminds them of home.

Another family we will visit is a young Rohingya mother (27) from Burma and her 2 young sons, ages 6 and 8. The family arrived in February. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority ethnic group in Burma. They are not legally allowed to work or attend schools. Often, the fathers, who face the most persecution, flee first and then are followed by their families. For this family, the father wound up in Malaysia, while the mother and the 2 boys fled to Indonesia. They have been separated since they fled. The older son is happy in school, but the younger son does not want to leave his mother. The mom is especially distressed that her husband remains in Malaysia and wants desperately to be reunited with him. In the meantime, she ahs found some other Rohingya families in her apartment complex that she has befriended.

We will also visit a family  from Iraq. The Father (35), Mother (17), and son (1) arrived February 2017 in Phoenix. The family came directly from Iraq to Arizona. The husband’s father and sister from Iraq arrived in Phoenix in April. Extended family members also reside in Texas. Two sisters and two brothers are still in Iraq. Family members worked for the US Armed Forces in Iraq. After 2005 the family needed to flee due to safety. In 2013 the family was separated and applied for visas to come to the United States. They are very happy to be in Arizona and they are very appreciative for all of the help they are receiving. They are already friendly with other resettled families and they are looking forward to their new life in America.

Family Bios: April 22, 2017

One family we will visit came from Cuba.  The father, age 35, studied gastronomy.  He is very interested in working in the food and wine industry.  The mother, age 43, has a degree in economics and worked in a boutique in Cuba.  They made about $15.00 per month each in Cuba.  They left by plane on a tourist visa to Mexico and crossed the border through Nogales.  They were very worried about making the trip with their daughter, age 12.  The trip was hard but they made it safely.  They arrived in Arizona September of 2016.  The mother and father are working and the daughter is attending school.  The parents speak English well and attend English classes.


Another is two brothers who recently moved out of their sister’s apartment into their own.  They are originally from the Congo and arrived in Arizona in 2011 with their sister and her family.  Since their arrival, the younger brother has been attending school and will graduate from high school this year.  He plans on attending Phoenix College while he works.  He also loves to draw.  The older brother finished his high school degree online, is currently attending Phoenix College for a culinary degree and plans on going to ASU for a business degree.  He has had jobs at the airport and currently works at a Café.  The older brother speaks English very well and loves to answer questions.  He said: “I love questions because that means people are interested.”


The other family we will visit is a family of 11. This family arrived from Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015, but need a bit of extra assistance with so many kids. We look forward to visiting them and learning more about their interests.

Family Bios: April 15, 2017

The first family is a woman age 43 from Cuba and her partner age 33.  The two women left Cuba to do internships in Venezuela.  One is an orthodontist and the other is a doctor.  They spent five years and nine months in Venezuela then made their way to Brazil where they spent seven months. They were accepted as refugees and spent one month in Miami before arriving in Phoenix.  They both want to get a job and slowly work their way back to the dental and medical fields.  They speak a little English and they like music.


The second family is a brother age 31 and his sister.  They graduated from medical school in Cuba and went to Venezuela for an internship.  From there they went to Colombia where they lived for five months in tough conditions because they did not have a work permit.  As they arrived in the United States, they spent a month in Miami until they were placed in Phoenix on March 15th, 2017.  They, speak some English, have some aunts in Miami and miss their family in Cuba very much.  They will not be able to return to Cuba for eight years, after that they can return to visit their parents and one brother in Cuba.


The third visit is to two men also from Cuba that did not know each other prior to being placed together in apartment.One is 45 years old and has worked as a doctor for 20 years.  He left a wife in Cuba to do a medical internship in Venezuela where he worked 7 years.  Next, he went to Brazil where he worked 3 years doing another internship.  From Brazil, he was accepted as a refugee and spent 45 days in Miami before being resettled in Phoenix.  He hopes to bring his wife to Phoenix.  The second man is 32 years old and graduated in medicine in 2011.  He also went to Venezuela for an internship where he worked 4 years.  Next, he went to Colombia where he stayed five months until he was accepted as a refugee in the United States.  They both like music and soccer and look forward to getting jobs and learning English.


This week we will deliver to three brothers and their families, all of whom are from Afghanistan. There are 17 family members in total. The oldest brother is married and has six children, ages 9 to 18. The next brother and his wife have two boys, ages 3 and 1. The third brother and his wife have a 2 year old son and are expecting a child in the coming months.
The brothers were quite successful in Afghanistan and owned transportation and security businesses. They also were land owners and the families lived a comfortable and safe existence. Then, about 15 years ago, Taliban forces stole their land and threatened their businesses with extortion. The family was attacked and fled into hiding in Pakistan. In subsequent encounters, one of the brothers was shot several times but survived the ambush. For many years, the family has continued to move locations in Pakistan and Afghanistan to hide from their enemies. The brothers lost their business and could not work in hiding. The children had difficulty attending schools.
The families arrived to the US early this year. Two of the brothers quickly found work in service industries and the third brother expects to start work soon. They are especially motivated not just to provide for their families but also because a fourth brother, still unsafe in his homeland, hopes to join them in our country. The older children have started school and are quite happy to be learning and living in a safe environment.

Deliveries: April 8, 2017

Our first family is from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, and their 4 children.  The father worked as a glass factory manager in Syria and the mother was a homemaker.  The mother attended college prior to the war and studied English, which she speaks very well.  The family fled to Jordan in 2013, and spent 3 months in a camp, and then were able to live in the city where they stayed for 3 years awaiting their application to be approved for refugee resettlement.  The parents were not allowed to work in Jordan, but the children were able to attend school.  The youngest child was born in Jordan.  They were approved for resettlement and came to the US in July 2016.  The 3 older children started school soon after arriving and all enjoy school.  The mother who speaks English has been a great asset to both her family and the Arabic speaking community at her apartment complex.  The father has begun working at the airport and has recently bought a car.  The children’s favorite subjects are science, math, and language arts.  They all dream of being doctors, the oldest wants to be an OBGYN, the second oldest wants to be a dentist, and the second youngest wants to be a general family doctor.  The parents are happy to be in America where they can have a safe life and their children can have a bright future.  They dream of buying a house, a second car, and the mother would like to finish college and become a nurse.

Our second family is also from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, their 3 adult sons, 1 adult daughter, son in law and their 4 grandsons.  The daughter is also pregnant.  The father and son in law worked as carpenters in Syria.  The mother and father, and their 3 sons left Syria in 2012, the daughter, son in law and their children left in 2013.  They all stayed in Turkey.  The son was able to work in Turkey as a carpenter, the older sons worked as a cleaner and did odd jobs.  The younger children were all able to attend school in Turkey.  The mother, father and 3 sons were approved to come to the US in May 2016, the daughter son in law and their children were approved to come to the US in Nov 2016.  Both the father and son in law have found work in a hotel.  The two eldest sons have some mental disabilities so they have applied and are awaiting SSDI approval.  The younger children are all enrolled in school and enjoying it.  The adults all dream of a bright future, owning a home, buying a car, and having the younger children grow up to become doctors!

Our third family is also from Syria consisting of a father, mother, and their 2 children.  The father worked as a construction worker.  They fled Syria in 2013, first went to a camp where they stayed for less than 2 weeks before being able to live in the city.  The children were able to attend school in Jordan, but the adults were not allowed to work.  They were approved to come to the US 9 months ago.  The father has found work at the airport as a rental car driver.  The oldest child attended school very soon after arriving in the US, but the younger son has physical and mental disabilities and recently was able to start attending school one month ago after his special needs were figured out.  The older son already speaks good English, says he has lots of friends at school and his favorite subject is art.  He wants to be a pediatrician when he grows up to help children like his brother.  The parents are happy to be here, and live in safety.  They hope to become successful, move to a nicer house, and are grateful for their son being able to receive medical treatment.

Our fourth family is from Syria consisting of a father, mother, and their 5 children.  The father worked as a plumber and the mother was a homemaker.  They left Syria in 2013 and fled to Jordan carrying their 4 children that were all under 5 years old.  They were able to stay in the city in Jordan, but were not able to work. The children were able to attend school.  The youngest child was born in Jordan.  They were approved to come to the US 8 months ago.  They have had a rough start as the father suffers many health conditions and the children are still traumatized from what they witnessed back in Syria.  The children have been attending school.  The family is hopeful that they will have a bright future in America and that their children will be able to study in college and they will someday buy a house.