We will visit a mother and her 8 year old daughter from Colombia. They fled after the father was murdered. They made their way to Quito, Ecuador, where they applied for asylum. They waited two years before being accepted for resettlement in the USA. They have been here 2 months. The mother is an aesthetician. She was able to find work even when she was waiting in Ecuador. She hopes to return to this work here in Phoenix; she asked for nail care products so that she could keep practicing her trade. Despite the fact that this family has no other family members or friends in Phoenix, they are settling in well. The daughter has made friends at school and her mother says their English is progressing well. The family is happy to be here and especially to be safe. They are looking forward to starting their new life here together.
The second family we will visit is from Eritrea. The mother and father both fled Eritrea, but separately. The father went first to Sudan, then to Libya where he stayed for 2 years, then to Egypt and finally to a refugee camp in Israel. Similarly, the mother fled first to Sudan, then went through Egypt to Israel. They reconnected in Israel in 2010. They have been in Phoenix for 2 months. The family has 5 children: 15, 13 and 10 year old girls, a 4 year old boy and a baby boy born a month after they arrived in Phoenix. All the children are doing very well. The family speaks multiple languages and their English is coming along well. The family is industrious and hard working. The father and mother were both butchers. The father has also worked in hotels, supermarkets and gas stations; he has taken many jobs to support his family and has learned some English along the way. The mother has also worked in restaurants and housekeeping. She understands English, but would like to improve her speaking abilities. Both parents hope to get to work as soon as things are settled in their family. They are happy to be here all together and are already looking forward to saving enough money for a house.
We will meet a woman from Eritrea who has had a difficult life, her daughter and her grandson who live together in Phoenix. Her husband died of illness when her firstborn son was only five and her daughter was only one. She was forced to flee her village due to war in Eritrea. She moved to two different villages in Eritrea but due to continued war eventually fled to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Her son, now twenty-three has been her main source of financial support. He was not able to participate in the resettlement process. She hopes that one day he will be able to join them in the USA. Her daughter has a one year old son. The daughter’s husband did not want to come to the US but felt the daughter should be wither mother. They hope that he will eventually change his mind and join them in AZ.