With our partner, Phantom Cyclist, and many, many donors and volunteers, we have readied a truckload of bicycles to share through a program with the Congolese refugee community of Phoenix. Jobs, education and connection to community, all closer in reach. Saturday is the day we will share.
We’ll meet a family from Afghanistan who arrived just a few weeks ago. They fled harsh, wartime conditions in their home country, first to Iran, then Turkey. They have been away from Afghanistan for at least 7 years. The family includes a husband, wife, 9 year old son and 5 year old daughter. The children have started school. The family is learning English together.
We’ll also meet a family from Burma who first fled persecution to Malaysia. They have been in USA for 4 months. The family includes a husband, wife and 4 year old daughter. The husband was a welder in Malaysia. He has already found work here tending to golf courses. The daughter is not yet in school. The family speaks a unique, regional language, Lai, but is learning English quickly.
And we’ll meet a family from Democratic Republic of Congo that includes an emerging soccer star. The family includes three generations. A mom, her 23 year old daughter, her three sons (20, 20 and 22) and her 2 grandchildren. They arrived to USA in August 2019. We’ll learn more about the family, including soccer prowess, when we meet them on Saturday.
On Saturday, we will visit a family of seven from Eritrea. They fled from Ethiopia after being in a Refugee camp for 10 years and arrived in the US in June 2018. The husband works at the airport while the mother stays at home. They have 5 children – 3 sons (17 years, 13 years and 14 months old) and 2 daughters (21 years and 16 years old). The children are enjoying going to school and have great grades. The two older boys are excelling on the track team at their high school and all the family members are soccer fans. The mother also enjoys crocheting and cooking.
We will also visit a family from Afghanistan who arrived in October 2018. The mother and father have two sons (9 years and 3 years old). The 9-year old loves school in America and is continuing to learn English. He is very excited for a computer to help with his English as well. The mother speaks little English and is taking classes to learn. The family enjoys soccer and the boys love all sorts of toys, especially cars. The family said it was difficult not having transportation at first, but now the husband has a car. The mother works as a housekeeper at the Phoenician. They love America and all of the different culture it has to offer.
We will meet a family from Afghanistan as well. They arrived three months ago, and did not know anyone in the area when moving here. They do not speak English and it has been a difficulty transition. The parents have three children – two sons (13 years and 9 years old), and a five-year old daughter. The children are learning English in school and enjoying it. The husband has not found work yet because of the language barrier and having to care for his 9-year-old handicap son.