This Week’s Families

Family Bios: August 11, 2018

We will welcome a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The father and mother fled the war in their country in 2000 with the 4 children they had at that time. They were in Burundi for 17 years awaiting asylum, and 2 more children were born in camp.  The two oldest children of the family arrived to America first, back in March. They live across town from their parents and younger siblings.  The family is excited to  ow be here all together. They love that there is “no cold” here in Phoenix. The oldest children are working; the rest of the family is actively seeking work as they improve their English Because this family arrived in May, the younger children have not yet been to school. They are so excited to go to class in the USA for the first time this month.


We will also welcome another family from the DRC. The father fled his home country as a small boy with his family of origin. Trying to escape the war, they first try to settle in a big city near their home. But after 4 years, they continued on to Burundi in search of greater security.  It was at the refugee camp in Burundi that the father and mother of this family met. The mother had also fled the DRC and the war there; she left alone at the age of 20. Both the father and mother were able to complete their secondary education in camp. The mother worked as a teacher and the father was employed in a hotel just outside the camp.  The family has only been in Arizona since May. This family has 2 small children (ages 3 and 1).  They also have relatives living in the Valley. The mother will be starting her new job this month. and the father is actively looking for work.


And another family from DRC will receive our WTAP welcome this week! The mother and father were married in the DRC and had 3 children, but were ultimately forced to flee the war in their country. They managed to get to a refugee camp in Uganda where they stayed for 9 years. Four more children were born in camp.  In the DRC, the parents were farmers. They were able to do some gardening in the camp in Uganda, and were happy that their children could attend school there.  The family has been in Phoenix for about 9 months now. The children are learning English and the father says he loves his job. They have made some good friends in Phoenix and feel very supported by the community. And they are very excited than in less than 2 months, a new baby will be born into their family!

Family Bios: August 4, 2018

We’ll visit a family from Iraq who relocated to AZ from Michigan.  Family includes a husband, wife, teenage son and teenage daughter.  In order to relocate, they had to leave most of their possessions behind.  WTAP looks forward to welcoming the family to Phoenix. 




We will also meet a family from Afghanistan. The family consists of a husband, wife 2 year old son and 2 month year-old son. We believe that the youngest child was born in the United States. We look forward to meeting the family in learning about their hopes for America.




And we will meet two brothers from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The siblings, in their early 20s, have lived their entire life in refugee camp. They have only known war and refugee camp.They only arrived to the United States in July 2018. We look forward to setting up their vacant apartment and giving the brothers a grand welcome to America.

Family Bios: July 28, 2018

We will meet two gentlemen today from Pakistan. They arrived in Phoenix in January after their journey took them to Thailand, Malaysia and then to the island of Manus, off the Australian Coast. In Manus they were placed in a detention center for over 4 years. They shared that the conditions in the detention center were very poor and it was a struggle to keep up hope of ever getting out. One of the gentlemen used to own a communications company when he lived in Pakistan. They are both working now in a home supplies warehouse nearby and use their bikes to get to work. They miss their families which they have not seen in over 5 years. They are hoping their wives and young children can join them here soon. They are grateful for the opportunity to live in the United States.


We will also meet a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The father and mother and their six children arrived in Phoenix in January. They arrived from Tanzania, where the mother had lived in a refugee camp for 21 years. She was 11 when she first arrived in the camp. The father and the 21 year old son are currently employed at the same company. The father was in an automobile accident last week, he is now recovering. The son is doing very well with his English and is the interpreter for the family. The rest of the children are enjoying attending school and meeting other children in the complex.


And we will meet a mother and her six children who are from Afghanistan. They spent time in Pakistan and arrived here in January. The oldest daughter speaks for the family but the rest of the family understands English. The mother and oldest daughter have jobs, while the rest of the children are attending school. Both girls are hoping to eventually attend college and love that they are allowed to get an education in the US. One of the girls hopes to be a physician and the other a journalist. The mother is learning how to drive, which she is finding challenging. The boys are enjoying school, want bikes to ride and love soccer.


Family Bios: July 21, 2018

We will meet a family from Iraq who has had an arduous journey to America.  The mother (38) left Iraq in the year 2000 when she was 20 years old. In the past 18 years she has been in Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Sweden.  She was sent back to Iraq from Sweden and then escaped to Syria where she stayed until the war broke out.  She went back to Turkey in 2008 where she stayed and waited to get refugee status and was relocated to New Mexico.  The mother and her two sons (5, 11) arrived in New Mexico May of 2017. The father stayed in Turkey.   The mother hoped for assistance from relatives n Phoenix but it was not to come. She moved into a shelter.  They received great guidance in the shelter and have been set up in an apartment that is safe.  The boys will begin school in August and both speak English well.  The 11-year-old boy likes soccer, Star Wars and Taekwondo.  The 5-year old boy likes cars and trucks and has a good sense of humor.  The mother is eager to find a job to start paying the bills.  She peaks some English and has previously worked in a hotel.


We will meet a family of four women from Burundi – – grandmother, mother and two daughters (18, 11).  They arrived in Phoenix just a few weeks ago.  The young girls are very eager to learn in school.  The oldest would like to be a doctor and the youngest would like to be a police officer.  They are pleased to be safe in Phoenix.




And we will meet a family from Iraq, a couple and their two children (a daughter, 16 and son, 14).  The family has been in the United States for a year.  They were settled in Michigan and moved to Phoenix very recently.  The family moved to AZ because of better employment opportunities.  They arrived to Phoenix with few possessions and are hard at work on their new start here.


Family Bios: June 30, 2018

We will meet a family from Eritrea who is living in safety and outside a refugee camp for the first time since 1962.   The mother fled Eritrea as a little girl with her family. She lived in a camp in Sudan where she met her husband and had her 5 children, ages 25 to 13. In camp, the children were able to attend school and the older children eventually worked in agriculture.  The family arrived in Phoenix at the end of March. The younger children are enrolled in school and enjoying it. The older boys were scheduled for job interviews the day of our initial home visit. The family has met other families from Sudan since that have arrived. Although the adjustment has been challenging, they are happy to be here and to be safe.  At the time of our visit, they will be hosting their cousin who has been living in Maryland for 2 years and who speaks very good English.


We will also meet a family from Afghanistan. The mother fled Afghanistan 26 years ago when she was a new bride.  She and her husband found shelter in Pakistan where they had 5 children. Four of the children are here with the mother; the oldest son is considered  a different case and they are hoping and praying for his arrival here soon. The family is happy in their new home. The older girls are in school and, after only 3 months, they are speaking very good English. The older brother has a job, working to support his family.



And we will meet a  family from Pakistan.  The family of 4 fled Pakistan and lived for 4 years in Sri Lanka.  In Pakistan, the dad was a cell phone technician; he fixes electronics. The mother did not work in Pakistan, but in Sri Lanka she did translations for the UN.  The mother is also an expert seamstress. The children were not able to attend school in Sri Lanka, but they did teach themselves how to speak English with help from their parents. They are doing well in school and were excited about the prospect of getting new books from WTAP.  This family has family here in Phoenix and family in Pakistan. They are not able to speak often with their family back home. The mother is currently working as a seamstress. The job is hard because her commute is very, very long. Despite the challenges of this first year’s adjustments, they told the WTAP volunteers that are they are very grateful for our support.


Family Bios: June 23, 2018 (World Refugee Day Phoenix)

We will welcome a mom and her 3 children from Afghanistan. The family fled Afghanistan in 2016, and was in Pakistan for 2 year before being granted asylum. The mother took care of her daughter, who is disabled, and her 2 sons, and she worked with the older son making rugs to support the family.  The family arrived in Phoenix in April. The boys were enrolled in school and love it. In fact, the mother said they are sad to come home every day, wishing they could go to school day and night! The mother expressed how hard it is to resettle in a new home, especially without family or friends nearby, but indicated that she is so grateful to be here safely with her children.


We will also welcome a family of asylum seekers originally from Egypt. The family’s safety was endangered back home when they converted to Christianity. They fled to Hong Kong in 2015. The mother and 2 sons arrived here a few months ago; they are still waiting for the father to be granted asylum to join them here.  In Egypt, the mother was an accountant and the father was a pharmacist. The children attended an American school where they learned English. In Hong Kong, the parents were not permitted to work, but the boys could attend school and continued to be taught in English. The mother said that her younger son doesn’t even remember any Arabic now.  The boys are doing well in school. The family is happy to be here, but they miss their father.


And we will meet a couple from the Congo region of Africa who arrived here with their 5 month old son at the end of May 2018.

Family Bios: June 16, 2018

We will meet a family from Syria. A mother, father and 3 boys ages 16, 13 and 12. Dad is still waiting to get his papers to come to the states and hopes to soon join his family. Back in Syria, a 4 year old daughter had a liver disease and when the war started they couldn’t give her the medical attention needed.  Unfortunately, she lost her battle to cancer. It was very devastating for the whole family. Their youngest son has the same disease and they knew that they need to leave the country to give him a chance to survive. They left Syria hoping to come to the US. They went to a refugee camp in Turkey for 2 1/2 years and arrived to the states in January of 2017.  The boys are going to school and can’t wait for their dad to join them. Mom is working at a bakery to support herself and the kids.




We will also from Saudi Arabia who consists of a mom and 2 kids. Her son is 6 and daughter 5.  The mother left a physically abusive marriage to protect herself and her kids.   The mother is highly educated and was a bio chemist back home. When she came to the states she studied to be a pharmacy technician and now searching for a job to support her family.



We will also meet roommates in their early 30s from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  They fled the dangers of war and have lived most of their loves in refugee camp. They arrived to AZ in May of this year.

Family Bios: June 9, 2016

We will meet three families, all from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The families arrived to AZ in recent months, having lived most of their lives in the refugee camp.  The DRC is a war ravaged country and the families risked kidnapping, military enslavement and death if they returned to their country.  Nearly all of the children we will meet were born in refugee camp, some of whom are now in their teens.