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Family Bios: January 6, 2018

We’ll visit a family whose extended family consists of three generations. There are eleven people living in the household. The paternal grandmother, age 75, the father, age, 47, the mother, age 40, and eight children. There are five boys, ages 13, 11, 7, 4 and 2, and three girls, ages 9, 8, and 3 months. The youngest child was born premature. She is still on oxygen and has already had cardiac surgery but she appears to be doing well now. The family is Eritrean but the grandparents fled the war in Eritrea and settled in a refugee camp in Sudan where all of their children and grandchildren were born except for the youngest child, who was born in the US. The parents received religious education but did not go to a public school. The family was brought to Arizona in December 2016 by the IRC because of the war that was then going on in Sudan. The wife is a homemaker. The husband worked in a restaurant as a waiter in Sudan. He was employed for a month in a Phoenix warehouse before his mother became ill and was hospitalized. He quit his job to take care of her, and he is now looking for employment. The children now “love school” and they are teaching their mother English. She was going to language classes at IRC but had to leave after two weeks because she delivered her daughter prematurely. When asked about the dreams they have for the family, the mother focused on the importance of their children being educated and having the opportunity for a bright future.

 

And we’ll visit a family who arrived in mid November 2017.  They are originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  They left their country because of the war and spent 20 years in a refugee camp in Tanzania.  The father is taking English classes and speaks some English.  Four of the children are attending school.  There ages are 16, 13, 10 and 7.  The oldest daughter is 18 years old and helps mom take care of the youngest daughter (age 1).  When the mom was asked what she misses about her country she said she does not feel connected to her country, all she remembers is war and she left young.  She mentioned the biggest difference in Arizona is the weather.  She is grateful, feels safer and likes that the kids get food at school.  She said in the refugee camp access to food was difficult and they had to walk long distances for medications and supplies.