This weekend we will welcome a young refugee and her elderly parents from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They fled the DRC because it was too dangerous a place to live after long years of war. This July, they arrived in Arizona after spending two decades in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Over the years they have had to leave many family members behind. The young woman must first find work to support herself and her parents, but hopes she can also find ways to receive an education along the way.
Arriving in Arizona this June, our next family is also originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now a family of seven, the parents met and married in a refugee camp in Tanzania after fleeing the violence in their country. They ultimately moved to a second Tanzanian refugee camp – overall, they spent over 20 years in the camps. While in one camp, the father worked with the IRC as a teacher. Their children now range in age from 4 to 15, two boys and three girls, and a baby is expected in December. All but the 4-year old are enrolled in school.
We will also welcome an Afghan mother and her four children. After escaping the war and dangers of Afghanistan, they spent seven years in Turkey. The conditions in Turkey were very bad, and among other problems, the children could not go to school. Resettled in Arizona in late July, two of her daughters and a son, ages 11 to 16, are enrolled in school and her eldest daughter is looking for a job. They are happy to have some Afgan relatives being resettled nearby.
This weekend we will visit a family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The family came to the US in September 2016, arriving first in San Diego. This past June they relocated to Phoenix after not being able to find adequate work in San Diego as well as the cost of living being too high. The husband and wife have two daughters (4 and 6 years), a son (1-1/2 years), and they are expecting a child in November. Their refugee story began in the DRC and due to constant civil unrest and wars the husband’s family fled to live in a refugee camp in Uganda when he was just 9 years old. He lived in the camp for 22 years. He met his wife in the refugee camp and they were married. The two daughters were also born in the camp. They did not work very much in the camp but did farm a bit to be able to provide some food for the family. They have one family member who remains in the camp and is working on the paperwork necessary to leave the camp and be relocated. The also have a variety of family who live in the US but they have not been able to see any of them due to the cost but they do talk regularly, which makes them very happy. The family has very good English skills. The father has a job at a laundry that he is very grateful for, and the 6-year old daughter is very excited to start school.
We will also visit another family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The husband and wife fled the Congo because of Civil War, fleeing to a refugee camp in Uganda where they stayed for five months, then to another camp in Uganda where the stayed for 20 years. Life in the refugee camp was very dangerous and living conditions where very unhealthy. They arrived in the United States in September 2018 and have three young children. Two of the children where born in the refugee camp and one was born in the United States. The husband is currently working in a meat processing plant and the wife would like to work and go to school. The father of the wife also lives in the United States and is the only other family member in the country. The mother is also trying to join the family as well in the US. They are very happy to have a secure life in the US and their children will be able to receive a great education in America.
This weekend we will visit a family originally from Eritrea. The mother left Eritrea and went to Ethiopia where she lived for 6 years in a refugee camp with her young daughters. While in the camp, they were given 15 kilos of wheat per person per month. The mother would trade with other refugees for supplies to supplement their diet of wheat. She applied to come to the United States, and they arrived in October 2018. Since they arrived, the mother found employment but had to leave because of medical issues which she is trying to resolve. Her two daughters, ages 8 and 9 years, attend school, are learning English and are very happy at their school. The mother is so proud of them, loves sharing photos of them, and is so happy to be here.
We will also visit a family of seven, originally from the Dominican Republic of Congo. The family includes a mother, three daughters, two sons, and a granddaughter. Due to the ongoing conflict in the country, they fled to Rwanda where they lived for ten years in a refugee camp. The children all attended school while living there. They arrived in the US just three months ago, and thhe children, now all in their 20’s, are working at Marshalls. They would like to further their education as they are able to save money.
And we will meet a third family that includes a single mother and her two daughters, age 26 and 17, from Democratic Republic of Congo.
This weekend, we will visit a family from Eritrea. The mother and her two daughters, ages 6 and 8, arrived to Arizona in April 2019. The family fled from their country in May 2014 because of the lack of freedom and human rights. The mother settled the family in Ethiopia where she worked as a cleaner. Her two daughters are currently attending school in Phoenix and are enjoying the experience. The mother has medical issues which are being treated, and she hopes to be able to work in the near future. Her goal is to be able to work, pay her bills and provide for her children. She is learning English from her children and would like to attend school in the future to improve her language skills.
We will also visit a family from Pakistan. The mother and her two sons, ages 16 and 14, arrived in Arizona in June 2019 after fleeing their country in 2012 because of threats to their lives. They settled in Kuala Lumpur and the three of them lived in one room. The mother supported her family through working in a variety of jobs in food services and in factories. The sons attended school in Malaysia where they studied English and are fluent in the language. The mother was diagnosed with a serious illness a couple of years ago and was granted entry into the US with her sons so that she could receive medical treatment. She is pleased with her care here and is hopeful that she will be able to recover and work again. Her children really enjoy school and are very sports oriented. They both love soccer, and the older son would like to become a professional soccer player. The mother also speaks English, which she learned through her work in Malaysia but she would like to study the language more to improve her skills. Her dream is to be able to give back to others as she is so grateful for all the help she received in the last two years when she was unable to work.
We will also visit a family from Myanmar who consist of a husband, wife, three daughters (9, 6, 2 months) and son (8). They arrived in April of 2019 and the children have begun US school.