We will visit Kurdish family from Iraq. The mom and the dad have a 3 year old and a baby due in November. The family arrived in April. In Iraq, the father was an electrician while the mom stayed home with the children. This family began receiving threats back in 2012 after some of the extended family members assisted the US Armed Forces. After moving around their country for years in search of safety, there were resettled here in Phoenix. The family is happy to be joining many, many other family members already here in the USA. The father’s brother, sister and father live in the same apartment complex, and they have family in Washington, California, Texas and Missouri. Some of their family has been here since 1996.
The next family we will visit is related to the first. The father and his adult daughter live in the same apartment complex as 2 other family members, both of which also have been served by The Welcome to America Project. While the father is happy to be here and safe with his children and grandchildren, he spoke of missing his own brother and sister who are still in Iraq. As a Kurd, he said he felt like a stranger when he first arrived, but is feeling more at home now. He expressed deep gratitude to all the people who have helped him get settled in this new place.
We’ll also visit a young man from the Democratic Republic of Congo and his mother. The young man fled the DRC in 2013 with his mom. They were following his sister, but the family was separated and only reconnected when the young man was in the refugee camp in South Congo and found out his sister had been resettled in Phoenix. She later moved to Chicago. The young man and his mother were eventually resettled in Chicago, but decided to come to Phoenix where jobs are more plentiful and the rents are more affordable. The young man arrived here in February. He waited until he had a job to send for his mom, who arrived in July. The young man is employed at Papa Johns and he really likes his job. He was able to teach himself English while in the refugee camp, and is excited to start his new life here working and taking care of his mother.
We will visit a family from Cuba. The father (63), daughter (41) and grandson (21) live together. The father arrived to he US earlier and had lived in Montana until a few months ago when his daughter and grandson arrived. In Cuba, the father worked high in the mountains doing woodworking and carpentry. His grandson was a carpenter too. Now they are both working in demolition. The daughter did a variety of jobs in Cuba. She just landed a job and is lucky to be able to carpool with a friend in her complex. Even tough they have relatives scattered all over the USA and many still back in Cuba, this family is happy to be together in Phoenix, to be working and to feel settled.
We’ll visit a second family from Cuba. The mother (60) lives with her daughter (28) and granddaughter (10). They have been in Phoenix for 7 months. In Cuba, the mother was a lab technician in a hospital and her daughter was a shopkeeper. The mother recalled Cuba as a very beautiful place but a place where life is very hard. The family is happy to be here and is starting to feel settled after the difficulties of relocation. The mother had nothing but the nicest things to say about the American welcome she has received. She mentioned being so impressed by the concern and goodness of the American people. She is very grateful to The Welcome to America Project.
We will visit a third family from Cuba, consisting of a wife, husband and their young son.