Our first family is originally from Sudan but has lived in refugee camps in Ethiopia since 1990. The home consists of the grandmother, age 48, mother, age 25, and two daughters, ages 9 and 6. They have been in the US since August 31. They originally fled Sudan because of war with the Arabs. They walked through the bush to Ethiopia; it took them 3 months. In Ethiopia the mother worked as a section leader within her camp and worked to fight violence against women in the camps. The women face food rations, rape and arranged marriages for girls as young as 12. She was attacked and beaten and they were forced to leave the camps because of her efforts to stop this treatment of women.
Our second family is from Burma. They have been in the US since August 24th after spending the past seven years in India. This family consists of a mother and father, three daughters, ages 16, 14, 12, and one son, age 10. They were forced to leave Burma in 2003. There is unrest in the country between the government and different ethnic groups that are fighting for their freedom. The family were farmers and shared their food with the army fighting against the government and were then forced to flee.
Our third family is also from Burma. They have been in the US for three months. They have spent the past 10 years in Thailand in a refugee camp. The military in Burma forced the father to become a porter, which is someone who goes in unarmed prior to battle to help carry supplies. He was shot in the leg during a battle and fled shortly after for Thailand. They came to the US in hopes for an education and better life for their children. They have four children: two boys, ages 18 and 12, and two girls, ages 16 and 14.