June 9, 2012

Bhutanese FlagThe first family WTAP delivery volunteers will visit is originally from Bhutan. There is a young husband and wife, their 2 year old daughter and the husband’s elderly father. The father speaks a little English. The family left their farm in Bhutan approximately 18 years ago. They moved to a refugee camp in Nepal where the grandfather supported the family as a laborer. They had assistance from the UNHCR, Red Cross and other organizations. The living conditions were not very good but the husband was able to complete Grade 10 and he was teaching other refugees in the camp. In mid-May, the family told by IOM (International Organization for Migration) that they were being sent to Arizona. They had only two days to prepare for their journey. Their flight took them first to Hong Kong, and then to Los Angeles, and finally to Phoenix. Now that they are free from exile, the father believes they have a chance for a happy, bright future. The family could really use a dresser, large rice cooker, and a vacuum cleaner. Other donations would be helpful additions to this family’s home.

Bhutanese FlagThe second family has three members and is related to the first family; the husbands are brothers. They also experienced very trying conditions in the refugee camp. The husband worked intermittently as a mason to help support the family but there was too much idle time between jobs. The husband, wife and their 13 year old son arrived in Phoenix in March. They are still adjusting to their new life and have not yet found employment. They feel their opportunities will improve after they learn the English language and become more familiar with their surroundings. The son has been attending school and his English is improving. Now that summer is approaching, the family is hoping to receive a television to help them become more familiar with the English language. They also need a large rice cooker, floor mats, and other items to make their apartment feel like a home.

Bhutanese FlagThe third family is also from Bhutan and consists of a husband, wife and their five year old daughter. The husband speaks English very well and received an education in the Nepali refugee camp. He does not recall why his family had to flee Bhutan but notes that stories of violence and abuse against the women were passed down to him by his elders. He was only five years old when the family arrived in Nepal and they lived in a bamboo hut with plastic covering the roof. Cooking was done over a coal fire. After 22 years in the refugee camp, his family was granted refugee status. They have been in Phoenix since March and are hopeful that the rest of the family (his parents and brother’s family) will be able to relocate here soon. The husband recently found part time employment as a janitor but would like to work fulltime so he can better support his family and also buy a car. A child’s bicycle, a computer for job searches, a television, vacuum and other items would be greatly appreciated.