The first delivery we will make is to two single roommates from Iraq who arrived this past November and December. The older of the two gentlemen is college educated and speaks English very well. He worked with U.S. troops as an internet technician in Iraq before fleeing in 2010. He spent 16 months in Jordan before coming to the United States. As a refugee in Jordan, he was not allowed to work and had to rely on assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). His mother and grandmother still reside in Jordan. He hopes to find an IT job similar to what he was doing in Iraq. The younger gentleman has a high school education and is learning English. He left Iraq in 2009 and spent more than two years in Lebanon before coming to Phoenix. His goals for the future include attending college and earning EMT certification. Currently, both men are employed at the same restaurant, working in the kitchen. They rely on the bus for transportation and have not yet ventured very far from their apartment except to go to work. Their apartment is sparsely furnished with bare necessities, and they do not have much in the way of household items or things to keep them entertained when not at work. A television, stereo or radio, and bicycles in addition to furnishings would be greatly appreciated.
The second delivery will be to an Iraqi mother who has five children, between the ages of two and 19 years old. The mother is a young widow; her husband was killed in Iraq. This family arrived approximately one year ago after spending six months in Turkey. As refugees, they were not allowed to work and had to rely on monthly assistance from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The mother is employed as a janitor and indicated that she is happy, but tired. She said her children are her priority, and she is so happy that they are being educated and will have opportunities for better lives here in the United States. Their apartment is bare except for a few items such as a dilapidated couch and chair, and four twin beds shared between six people. Bunk bed donations are being sought since this is only a two-bedroom apartment. A bicycle for the eight year old daughter and soccer equipment (ball, shin guards) for the 12 year old son were additional items noted by the Home Visit team of volunteers.
The final delivery will be to an Iraqi family of four. The husband and wife are both 26 years old and they have two beautiful children, ages three and five. They arrived here in November 2011. The husband has a university degree in languages and speaks several, including English. He was employed as an IT supervisor in Iraq. When asked about the living conditions in Iraq, he said that they did not have regular utilities like they do here in the United States; electricity was intermittent, roughly two hours per day. They like their apartment here because it is quiet and they have natural sunlight to wake up to every morning. The husband has found employment recently, working in a restaurant. His wife and daughters would like to learn English and were very excited to hear about the public library’s resources and activities. Their apartment is sparsely furnished and they can use many things to make it more comfortable and less sterile in appearance. The husband also rides the bus to work. Therefore, a donated bicycle would be beneficial and appreciated. The children also put bicycles on their Wish List. They also requested a sewing machine.