The first visit was to the home of a Somali woman who has been placed in Phoenix alone. In Somalia, her husband beat her and then took her children. She ended up in a refugee camp in Ethiopia in 2007 and she stayed there for three years. She has not seen her five children for three to four years. The children are now with her mother in Somalia, but she does not have means of contacting them. For her, the United States isn’t like she thought it would be because she is here alone and she misses her family.
The second family is expecting a new baby girl any day now! We met with the father and two very energetic children, ages 4 and 1. The parents are from Somalia. They left due to the problems in the country and they wanted to start a new life elsewhere. The family lived in Malta for six years, beginning in 2004. In Malta they lived normal lives where they worked and the oldest child went to school. Both children were born in Malta. The family arrived in the United States on October 28th after traveling from Malta to Austria, New York, and finally Phoenix. The father has been staying at home to help with the two children and the expected baby.
We met with the third family from Bhutan. They arrived in Phoenix in late October. The parents and both children, ages 4 and 1 were at home. The mother’s family is already located in Phoenix, but the father’s family, including parents and siblings, are all still in Nepal. They have applied for resettlement in the US. This family lived in a hut in Nepal for 18 years. The father left Bhutan at the age of 14. In Nepal, the father worked as a teacher and the mother worked in a pharmacy. As the Bhutanese government does not want people from the camps back in Bhutan, the family applied for resettlement in the United States and were accepted. The family said that Phoenix was very different than Bhutan, but they were happy to be here. The father is looking for a job, but has not found one yet.