The first family we will see is a young Cuban mother and her 11-year old daughter. They came to the United States from Spain, where they lived for three years after leaving Cuba. In Spain, it had become very hard to find steady work because of the weakening economy. The mother’s hope in coming to the US is to be able to find stable employment and to be able to support herself and her daughter. In Cuba, the mother worked as a professional dancer and dance teacher; in Spain she found what work she could, such as hotel housekeeping. Here, she looks forward to finding any job, but dreams of someday being able to work as a dancer again. Her daughter loves her new school and is already completing her homework with ease; she really likes to draw and paint. Both mother and daughter are attending English classes.
We will also deliver furniture and household items to a large Burmese family. All nine family members were present during the home visit since the children (ages 2, 3, 7, 9, 12 and 15) were not yet enrolled in school. There is also an adult daughter who is 21 years old. The father was not comfortable sharing their story about their life in Burma but did indicate the he fled to Thailand in 1995 and lived in a refugee camp for approximately 15 years. The family arrived in Phoenix last month, and they are slowly adjusting to their new life with assistance from their pastor and other family members who live nearby. Both the wife and eldest daughter expressed that they would like to find jobs to help support their large family. They also would like to learn English and will be taking classes soon. Home Visit volunteers noted that this family’s apartment was quite bare and minimally furnished. Therefore, the family would appreciate any donations, especially a television, a large dining room set, bicycles, towels, bed linens, and items for the children such as educational materials, building blocks, Legos, soccer balls and art supplies.