Our first family is from Eritrea, a mother, father, and 3-year-old son. The mother was the only person at home to visit with. They have been here for 5 months. The father had a job and was injured in the first week. He is looking for another job. His sight is impaired. He is from Eritrea and fled his country for Ethiopia. While there he met his wife, an Ethiopian, who was making and selling enjara, a type of large tortilla at the camp. She would like to have a job also. She is studying English and their son is in a preschool studying English.
Our second group is 5 adult males who all arrived here July 27th from Eritrea. Only one of them was present for our visit, but his story is similar to the others. He was forced into the Eritrea military and was badly treated as a soldier. He fled to Djibouti and was imprisoned because Djibouti and Eritrea are warring and Djibouti automatically arrests foreigners for fear of problems. He was in that prison for 18 months and after working with the Red Cross and other agencies his situation finally got the help of the UN in declaring him a refugee. He has a wife and 3 children in Eritrea and as soon as he is able he will begin the lengthy process of having them join him. He has a job. The other 4 were at the IRC today trying to find jobs.
Our third family is originally from Burma, a mother with a 5-year-old daughter. She left Burma in 1988 and went to Thailand. She was there for a year or two and then fled to Malaysia. She has only been here since the end of July. Her daughter is being treated for Leukemia. She has many needs and is very alone expressing not knowing who to call when she has a problem. Her apartment was very tidy and organized. It appears she is trying very hard with all she has to overcome.