The first family we will visit consists of a mother and son from Somalia. The mother is twenty-nine years old and her son is four years old. Somalia has suffered from two decades of war and instability. The country has been devastated and the population continues to suffer. Children in Somalia wake up everyday feeling weak, hungry, thirsty, and often not sure when they will have their next meal. This mother was self-employed in Somalia. She fled to a refugee camp in Ethiopia in 2007. There was no work in the refugee camp but the son enjoyed the refugee camp because he had a bike. The family arrived in Phoenix on December 17, 2014. The mother would like to work. The boy will start school in August when he will be five years old. The mother likes Phoenix. She feels comfortable because the weather here is similar to that of her country.
Our next visit will be to a family of six from Somalia. The husband is sixty-four years old; the wife is fifty-five years old. They have three sons (ages 23, 19 and 18) and one daughter (age 13). Somalia is a country plagued by two decades of civil war and tribal clan fighting. The parents fled Somalia 1991 due to the war. All of the children were born while they were living in a refugee camp. The family found peace in the refugee camp, and they were given three meals a day. They came to Phoenix on October 9, 2014. In the past the family owned a shop where they sold groceries. The father also worked as a tailor. The husband suffers from a chronic illness, but he is feeling well now. The daughter is in high school already and the oldest son is working. They have one older daughter who is in the process of relocating to Phoenix. She should be here within the next twelve months.
We will visit a third family from Somalia this Saturday. This is a relatively large family of six. The husband is seventy years old and is blind. The wife is fifty-five years old. They have four sons (ages 24, 19, 17 and 12). They have lost family members due to the civil war in their country. The parents fled Somalia to a refugee camp in Ethiopia in 1991. All of the sons were born in the refugee camp where they suffered a lot of hardship. The family arrived in Phoenix October 21, 2014. They had to leave some of their relatives in Somalia and in the refugee camp in Ethiopia. The family has many memories of war and sadness from their home country, and from the refugee camp. They are adjusting to their new opportunities in the United States. Two of the sons attend public school and one son is working. The wife is the primary caregiver to the husband. They are happy to be in America. One of their favorite things about Phoenix is the easy access to clean drinking water! This family also finds the weather in Phoenix to be similar to that of their home country, which makes acclimation a bit easier for them.