WTAP will deliver to 6 families on Saturday. Read 5 of the 6 families’ stories here:
One family we will visit is from the DRC. The mother (38) escaped the DRC when she was 20 years old. She lived in a refugee camp in Rwanda for 18 years. It was in the camp that she met and married her husband (43) and where they had their 5 children: 4 girls (ages, 12, 9, 7 and 11 months) and one son (13). The family has been in Phoenix just over a month. Four of the children were able to go to school for this last month, and the father is taking English classes in hopes of getting a job soon. On the day of the home visit, the mother, the 11 month old and the son were at home. When asked what they liked best about being in the USA, the son said he liked that he could play and the mother stated that she was happy to be able to pray.
Another family we will visit is from Syria. The father (49) and mother (44) have 4 daughters (ages 21, 16, 15, and 5) and 3 sons (ages 20, 13, 11). In Syria, the father worked as an administrator at the university. The oldest son had gained certification to be a dental technician. The other children were in school. The family fled Syria in 2013 because of intense bombing in their area. They escaped to Jordan where they lived for 3 years. In Jordan, the 20-year old son worked in a supermarket and the 21-year old daughter was a teacher’s assistant in a day care; the father was unable to work. The other children were able to attend special schools for refugees. The family described the vetting process to be accepted as a refugee to the USA. First, the entire family went through 2 sets of interviews with the United Nations representatives. They also underwent a second set of 2 interviews with the IOM (International Organization for Migration). Then, each family member had to submit to a complete health examination. After passing all these, they were informed that they would be resettled in the USA. The family described being here as both good and bad: they are very sad to have left so much family behind, but they are happy to be together and safe. They have one cousin here in the USA, in Washington. They were particularly excited about an uncle who is scheduled to arrive for resettlement here on June 6; he will be living in Virginia.
This family arrived from Afghanistan just a few weeks ago. The family includes a husband and wife and their two young children, ages 1 and 3. The husband is a former airport employee who took a position assisting the US military as a translator. While his work in battle zones was dangerous, it also proved dangerous to the family. Because of his association with our military, the family were threatened and at risk of retaliation from opposing forces. They lived in constant fear of violence against them. The family had to flee their home. They did not go to refugee camps. Instead, the US government helped them to leave Afghanistan. Now in the US, they wish for a happy and safe life. They also see a brighter, safer future for their children.
This family arrived from Afghanistan about 6 weeks ago. The family consists of a mother and her six children, ages 3, 7, 9, 10, 14 and 15. They fled war conditions in their home country, Afghanistan. The family spent almost ten years in refugee camps located in Pakistan. At some point, the mother became separated from her husband and his current whereabouts are unknown. The mother supported the family by doing domestic work, mostly cleaning houses. She has family who remain in refugee camps. She considers the US her second home and knows that living here will be best for her children.
The final family arrived in the US about two months ago. The family includes a mother and her five children, ages 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19. Originally from Somalia, they spent more than five years in Ugandan refugee camps. The family appreciates the safety and opportunity that they will find in the US.