Our first family is from Burma. A family of four, two children; a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Unfortunately there was no translator available so we were unable to get their story. They have been here since April. Their apartment is sparsely furnished, so they need many things.
Our second family is from Iraq. A single mother with 3 children; a 13-year-old daughter, and 2 sons ages 9 and 10. They have been here since early May. They came to the US from Syria. They were in Syria 6 years. The father went back to Iraq in 2005 to get more of their things and he never returned. They believe he was kidnapped and has since been killed. They said they left Iraq initially because of the war; it was too hard to live there.
Our third family is from Cuba and has a father, mother, daughter 19 years old, and son 23 years old. The father’s father was a political prisoner in Cuba. When he was released from prison, the family was persecuted by the government because they was felt the family may become aggressive. This took a toll on the family and they decided to try to come to the U.S. They went to the United States Interest Section in Havana, Cuba to file for refugee status. Although they were approved within 1 year, the government retained them for 6 more years, because, they feel, he is a doctor. He has worked as a doctor for 30 years and his wife has been a nurse for 14. They have been here for 2 months and have been a little disappointed. The father made us some delicious Cuban espresso while he told us his story and the rest of the family made us feel very welcome in their home. The mother would like to make the apartment feel more homey and is hoping for things to make it that way. The father’s father is still alive and lives in Cuba. He is 88 years old.