Our first family is from Somalia, consisting of 13 people. The father and mother have 9 children, as well as a nephew and grandson living with them. They fled Somalia 26 years ago when the parents were newlyweds. They had to leave their house so quickly that they didn’t even bother to put on shoes. They walked for a week until they reached Ethiopia. They have family that fled the same time, but they were separated while walking, and believe they ended up in Yemen and Kenya, but aren’t sure and have not had contact with them since they fled. They stayed in the refugee camp in Ethiopia and built their family, all 9 children were born in the camp. The eldest daughter had a son in the camp as well. The eldest daughter also worked for the IRC in the camp as a social worker for other women. They arrived to Phoenix in December. They have met some neighbors who have been very helpful in to transition and made it much smoother. They have some cousins in Minnesota, and are considering moving there, but testing out Phoenix and trying to connect with the Somalian community here. The father was told by his case manager shortly after they arrived that he wouldn’t know a true American welcome until WTAP, and after the Home Visit volunteers were leaving he said through his interpreter “My case worker was right! Thank you thank you!”
Our second family is from Syria, consisting of a father, mother and their two young children. The father worked as an electrician and the mother was a homemaker. The father said they had a very good life in Syria, but the war destroyed everything and death was everywhere. They fled to Turkey 3.5 years ago, and the father was able to work as an electrician again, and they had their second son. They were able to rest and start to build a new life in Turkey, however their eldest son has a rare blood disorder, and they were not able to get him the medical care he needs, so they decided to apply for resettlement so that they could be safe but also have adequate medical care for their son. They arrived in Phoenix almost 3 months ago. The mother is focused on setting up their son’s medical care, while the father is currently participating in the IRC “Job Club” and hopes to find work soon. They are very grateful to be in America and have high hopes for their childrens’ futures.