One family we will visit is from Somalia. The mother and the father both left Somalia in 1991. They met at a refugee camp in Ethiopia. They married in the camp, and had 10 children, now ranging in ages from 25 to 2. In Somalia before he left, the dad had been in school studying religion. Both parents were able to work in Ethiopia: the mom worked in a day care and the dad ran a store. All the children were able to attend school in Ethiopia, and they have just started school here in Phoenix.The family arrived in Phoenix at the end of June, and they are happy to be here. The children are already picking up some English, and they say they don’t even mind the heat!
This family is from the Congo, and consists of a father age 55, a mother age 43, and 7 children, 3 girls and and 4 boys, ranging in age from 6 months to 14. The mother reports fleeing the Congo for Rwanda with her family in 1996 because of the war and the killings that were occurring. She met her husband in the camp, and they married and had all of their children except their youngest daughter in Rwanda. It was difficult to get employment in the camp and the father worked doing odd jobs. The husband is currently employed working the evening shift, and five of the children are attending school. The family continues to struggle financially as the father is the only one employed, and he has to support a large family. They are all pleased to be here, and the children have hopes of attending college. The father mentioned that the children said that they would like to study engineering and nursing.
This family is from the Congo and consists of a father, age 51, and a mother, age 45, and 7 sons and two daughters, ranging in age from 11 months to 20 years old. The family fled the Congo to Zimbabwe in 2006 because of the war raging in their country. They lived there for 9 years before coming to Arizona in June of this year. The father worked as a chauffeur for a company in Zimbabwe, and he began a job working the evening shift here yesterday. His oldest son did complete high school but was not able to take his final exams in Zimbabwe so he plans to get his GED and then would like to go to college and is interested in studying electronics or medicine. The family has 7 other children who are currently in their second week of school, and they are finding the adjustment challenging, but the family is happy to be in their new home in the United States.