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Family Bios: February 24, 2018

We’ll visit a thirteen year old girl and her mother from Haiti. The young girl arrived about 1 year ago and has been reunited with her mother after being separated for 5 years beginning when she was 8 years old. Both mother and daughter are very happy to be together again. The mother shared their story of her husband disappearing in 2011. After realizing he was not going to come back she and her daughter moved to St. Thomas for 1 year and then the mother was able to come to the USA. The mother had encountered problems and knew she had to leave for her safety. The mother has worked selling food in various markets and is now working in a restaurant. Her daughter is attending school, learning English and likes it very much. They continue to stay in touch with family in Haiti but they do not expect their family to join them in the US.

We will visit a family from Eritrea who consist of a mother (65), 3 daughters, (14, 19, 36) and one grandson (7) who came to the US in Dec 2017. They fled Ertirea to a refugee camp in Ethiopia due to severe oppression from the government and fear for their safety. The daughters fled first and the mother was put in jail for six months because her daughters left their country. The mother was let out of jail after paying a large sum of money and then fled the country herself to be reunited in the refugee camp with her daughters. They spent anywhere from 8 years in the camp before coming to the US. The mother sewed and made woven baskets as her job in Ertirea. They are very happy to be in the US and feel much safer. All are actively looking for work and are willing to do anything they can to earn a living.

And we will visit a young man from Eritrea who ran fled his country as 12 year old to avoid military inscription. Military service can be very hard and many people are forced to stay in the military doing very hard work for many years without the freedom to leave the service. He was very afraid this type of slavery and chose to run away without his family’s knowledge to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He in refugee camp for 8 years. He came to the US in Dec 2017 and is looking forward to working to earn a living. He has just started English classes and is working hard to learn the English language.