The first family we will visit is originally from Somalia, although none of the children have ever seen their country. The mother left Somalia when she was 17 and lived for 20 years in a refugee camp in Kenya. She met and married her husband there, had all her children, and lost her husband before the family was granted asylum here in the USA. This family of 9 (mother and children ranging from ages 7 to 23) arrived in Phoenix with a brother-in-law in October 2015. The older daughter, married with a baby (the first American in their family), has since moved out with her husband. The mother moved to Seattle with the other 8 children a little while ago. Seattle proved to be too expensive and it was hard for the mother to find a job, so they have come back to Phoenix. They are starting over again in a small 2-bedroom apartment, but they are optimistic and hopeful. The mother says Phoenix is good – good food, good health care, good schools. She is looking for a job and the younger children will soon start back to school. This happy family is grateful for the help of WTAP, grateful for the newest addition to their family, and excited about the future.
And we’ll visit a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The father is one of 12 children, 11 of whom survived. In 1996, during the war, they fled to the Refugee camp in Tanzania, where the family stayed 22 years. The father and his family attended school through high school. The grandparents died in camp, one from malaria and one from heart problems. The father and mother met in camp and had all three children there. The family includes two boys ages, 11 and 8, and a daughter age 4. The three children will be in school this coming year. The father has five brothers living in New York.