Family Bios: November 17, 2018 (morning)




We will meet three families from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

One family includes of mom, 2 sons (age 16 & 18) and 1 daughter (age 22).  They arrived in AZ in June of 2018 but  over to Idaho, then moved to Pittsburgh and now Phoenix.  They are happy to be where it is warmer and no snow!  The mother left her village in 1998 due to war and many killings in her area.  She fled to many different places in the Congo until she finally made it to Burundi and had been in a refugee camp since 2002.  The youngest son was born in the camp.  When mom lived in the Congo and in the refugee camp she worked as a teacher for International Rescue Committee and spoke to women and children about domestic violence.  Mom has a heart condition now that makes it difficult to work.   The children attend school and are hoping to get a job very soon.   

We will also be visiting a family of 4 (soon to be 6) from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This family consists of a father, mother, son (age 3), and daughter (age 2). They recently found out that the mother is pregnant with twins, and they are expected to be born in May of 2019. This family arrived in Phoenix on June 12th of this year. The father left the DRC to Kenya, where he lived in a refugee camp for 8 years. The mother also left the DRC to Kenya, where she lived in a refugee camp for 9 years. They met each other in Kenya, and both of their children were born in the camp. In Kenya, the father owned a small business within the camp. Currently, the father is employed at Papa John’s here in Phoenix. The mother also found a job, and is working at a hotel. Although the two young kids are not in school yet, their parents hope that they become successful though their education in America, and hope for the whole family to learn English. They are also excited, and trying to prepare for the twins in the upcoming year.

And we will visit a third family from DRC that includes four children ages 1 through 7. 

Family Bios: November 17, 2018 (afternoon)

We will visit a woman from Cuba who arrived to the US via a detainment facility in Laredo, Tx.  She is 22 years old when she decided it was time to leave Cuba.  The government refused to allow her family to open a restaurant and they also were requiring her to join the military which she did not want to do.  The government put her under surveillance and our client no longer felt safe.  She secured the ability to travel to Mexico and flew to Mexico City and then onto Laredo where she was then apprehended by customs.  She asked for asylum but was detained for 45 days in a detention facility there.  She was eventually allowed into the US and transported to Phoenix.  She describes this as a very scary experience when she was in the detention facility.  Our client wants to get a job as soon as possible and then wants to learn to be a hair stylist.  She is working on learning English.  She has family that would like to join her but they do not know if this will be possible.  Her father has tried several times to leave and has been detained each time.  She is very relieved to be here in the US.

We will also visit family from the Democratic Republic of Congo who spent many years in refugee camp in Kenya.  




And we will meet a large Rohingya family who fled Burma many years ago for safety in Malaysia.  

Family Bios: November 10, 2018

We will visit three young refugees who arrived here as “unaccompanied minors” from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.  All three of the young men are doing quite well and have recently moved from foster homes to their very first apartments.  For unaccompanied minors, the journey is often treacherous and long.  They are all fortunate to be safe in the US and have made the very most of their schooling.  We will learn more about them when we visit on Saturday.


We will also visit a couple from Iraq and their three children.  They arrived in 2017.  We will learn more about them when we visit on Saturday.


Family Bios: November 3, 2018 (afternoon)


We will be meeting a family of 5 from Bagdad, Iraq. The husband, wife, and their three sons arrived in Phoenix in September of this year. This family came directly to Phoenix from Iraq, without fleeing to different countries first. They fled I raq because of the instability and danger, and the parents wanted a better life for their children. The sons are ages 14, 13, and 7 years old. All three of the children have started school, and are loving it. Because each son is either in elementary, middle school, or high school, they all go to different campuses. Their parents hope that their children attend a university someday, and get a good education. The children and parents do not speak English very well, but they are trying to learn. The father is working on getting his driver’s license so he can secure a better job. Back home in Iraq, the father obtained a bachelor’s degree in design. He also was a businessman, owned a restaurant and market, and was a taxi driver. The mother is an Arabic teacher. They are happy to be in America, and have some friends here in Phoenix.


We will also be visiting a family of 10 from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This family consists of a father, mother, 4 daughters (ages 14, 10, 7, and 3), and 4sons (ages 14, 12, 10, and 1). They just arrived to Phoenix on October 2018, so the kids are not yet enrolled in school and the parents have not yet found work. The5 oldest kids were born in Congo, where their father unfortunately passed away.  After fleeing to a camp in Uganda, the mother met her now husband and had her other 3 children in camp. They lived there for 10 years before coming to the United States. In Uganda, the mother worked as a cleaner and babysitter. The father worked as a part of a hospital’s registry staff. All of the children, except the 2youngest, attended school in their camp in Uganda where they learned some English. They are glad that they are here and safe, and look forward to starting their new lives in Phoenix.


Another family we will be visiting is from Eritrea. This family consists of a father, mother, and two little girls ages 3 and 1. They arrived in October of this year, and speak little English. The wife’s brother and sister both live close by in Phoenix. Before they knew each other, the mother and father separately fled Eritrea to a refugee camp in Ethiopia because they feared the government and had little freedom. The lived in camp for 10 years, where the husband and wife met each other and had both of their daughters. Back home in Eritrea, the father was a farmer, and owned a restaurant when living in the camp in Ethiopia. Both of the parents hope to find work soon, as well as attend school to learn English. They are happy to be in the United States where they can raise their daughters and have more freedom.