Our first family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, consisting of a father, age 68, mother, age 53, their six children, ranging in age from 12-22, and two grandchildren, ages 3 and 2. They all arrived together to Arizona in June, except their oldest son, age 33, who remains in the refugee camp with his own wife and children. They fled DRC 19 years ago and settled in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Prior to fleeing, both parents were farmers. Both teenage daughters are attending school and enjoying it. The mother and adult children are focusing on finding employment but they are hopeful that the their older children will have the opportunity to return to school in the future. The mother hopes to find employment so that she can support the family as her husband is unable to work presently because of a medical condition. The father’s sister has lived in Arizona for 12 years, speaks fluent English, and has been a great asset in their resettlement.
Our second family is also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, consisting of a father, age 50, mother age 48, two adult twin daughters age 20, four sons ranging from 13 to 18, and one 10 year old daughter. The mother speaks English very well. Both parents were upper middle class, the father was a university professor and photographer and the mother was a social worker. The father published photos of the war and was then targeted by the government, so they fled to a refugee camp in Zimbabwe where they lived for 13 years. The father owned a small shop in the camp, and the mother taught French. She also worked as a counselor at the camp’s hospital and was Vice Chairman of Education in the camp. They arrived to Arizona in May 2016. The father and adult daughters are already working in a warehouse, and the daughters are studying for their GED. The other 5 children are all enrolled in school and enjoying it. The mother emphasized the importance of education in their family and that the family is most excited about having that opportunity once again in America. She proudly shared a video of her twin sons who had been rugby players in Zimbabwe and are now star players on their high school’s football team. They were recently featured on a local TV station because of their athletic accomplishments so soon after arriving in America.
Our third family is two unaccompanied minors from Eritrea. They both spent a few years in a refugee camp with other Eritrean minors. They were both resettled to Phoenix within the last few months and are attending High School. One is learning English quickly, receiving good grades, and would like to start looking for a part time job soon. The other is learning English progressively, and is on the Cross Country and Soccer team at his school. Both are excited to be in America and to pursue the opportunities they now have.