Our first family is from Congo. A family of 10: mother and father, four boys and four girls. Their youngest is a cute 1-year-old girl & the oldest is a beautiful 18-year-old girl. She is the only one in the family who speaks English, and helped as our interpreter. The family had to flee the Congo in 1993 during the conflicts between the Katanga and Kasai. They were in a refugee camp in Zambia for 15 years. All the children, apart from the eldest two, were born in the camp. Back in Congo the father worked in a copper mine as a security officer. He still has a brother in Congo, but they have not communicated in 15 years. The wife’s family is still in Congo, and they are hoping to get some help to come to the US. This wonderful family has been in America for 3 weeks. They are happy to be here.
Our second family is from Iraq, a mother and father and their 5 children: 4 girls, ages 18, 14, 12 and 4, and a 10 year old boy. They also have a daughter who is married and still living in Iraq. They are very sad to have missed her wedding and have not seen their first grandchild, a one-month-old baby girl.
After fleeing Iraq in 2006 the family lived in Damascus, Syria. The husband’s brother and father were killed in Iraq. He told us that he and his wife have lost 10% of their family members.
They think of America as a beautiful and safe place to live. Their 4 year old is eager to start pre-school, unfortunately they cannot afford it, and she is still too young for kindergarten. The rest of the children will be starting school within the next few weeks.
Our third family is from Congo, a mother, father and their 6 children 4 girls ages 14,12,6,3 and 2 boys ages 9,4. The father’s 17 year old sister also lives with them. They fled Congo in 1999 for security reasons and spent 2 years in Tanzania and another 8 years in Mozambique. The father speaks a little English; however, his brother will be there on deliveries to translate.