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Family Bios: January 26, 2019

We will visit a family who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They fled their home 20 years ago because of the war within the country. The mother, age 35, has six children all of whom were born in the refugee camp in Tanzania before she came to the United States in July 2016. Her daughters are ages 14, 12, and 3, and her sons are ages 10, 7, and 4. She originally settled in Phoenix where she had relatives residing but she moved later to Tucson to find employment. She returned to Phoenix in September 2018 and is currently looking for employment. Her children are doing well in school but she finds it challenging being the only caretaker for them. She is pleased that she can now provide a safe environment for her children and hopes that their lives will continue to improve.

We will also meet a family from Rwanda who fled their country in 1994 because of chaos and danger in the country. They settled in Tanzania but were only able to remain there two years before being sent back to Rwanda in 1996. The father mentioned was imprisoned for political reasons for three years in Rwanda and said the family had to leave again in 2000. They settled in Malawi where they lived in a refugee camp for 18 years before coming to Arizona in September 2018. The father, age 67, and his wife, age 66, have a daughter, age 29, and a son, age 28, who are living with them. The daughter is currently employed by a paper company in the area. The son was working but had to stop temporarily because he broke his arm. The family is very happy to be in the United States, and the father is searching for work so that he could buy a car which would make life easier for them.

And we will meet a family originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but fled the war there in 1996 settling in a refugee camp in Tanzania where they lived for 22 years. All of the mother’s six children were born in the camp and were educated there. The mother, age 42, has four daughters, ages 19,16, 14, and 3, and two sons, ages 12 and 8. The family arrived in Arizona in September 2018, and the children are all in school and doing well. The mother who was a farmer in her own country worked as a cleaning woman in the refugee camp. She is now employed by Papa John’s, and her oldest daughter is working in a nearby laundromat. This daughter hopes someday to be able to go to school as she loves learning. Her siblings have told their mother that they have dreams of being in the medical and legal professions.