Our first family is a mother and her two children, ages 5 and 1, from Eritrea who came to the United States in August as Kunama refugees because they cannot settle permanently in Ethiopia. They have been living in Ethiopian refugee camps for three years since fleeing their home. Prior to fleeing the mother was briefly imprisoned. Her husband passed away while in the refugee camp. They like America very much. She has been in Phoenix since August and is taking English language classes.
Our second family is a mother, age 44, and two children, ages 10 and 13, along with mom’s brother, age 19 from Eritrea. Her husband was a soldier, and after the war he was still alive but did not come home. She went to the leaders to ask about her husband, but they said they did not know anything. She was persistent and continued to ask them for answers. They imprisoned her to stop the questioning. Based on what she was able to learn they had killed him and did not want to tell her. After being released from prison she fled and became a refugee and lived in Shimelba Refugee Camp near the Eritrean border for 2 years. She arrived to Phoenix in August with her children and brother. The United States is not what she expected but she is learning to like it and is taking English language classes.
Our third family is a mother, age 30, and her 3 sons ages 5, 7 and 10 from Congo. She had to flee her home country after her husband abandoned her and her children. Because of the uncertainty in the Congo she lived for six years in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Prior to having to flee she worked as a waitress. She is happy to have this new chance in America and thanks us.