Our first family is from Rwanda. When the mother was 14 she was forced to flee for her life with her 5-year-old brother. They were a family of 2 parents and 11 children. When they fled, she took her little brother by the hand and the family scattered. She has not seen them again and hasn’t been able to find out details of their lives. She fled to Burundi, Tanzania and back to Rawanda. Upon her return to her family compound of 2 homes she found them occupied, but also found her grandmother. When again she had to flee her grandmother would not leave and she witnessed her grandmother’s murder. When she was 17 and her brother 8 he decided to run away. She does not know what happened to him. Another family took her in and helped her. She met her husband and married after which they fled again to Burundi, Malawi, and then South Africa. The husband had been able to finish 2 years of college. They both came from successful families and now they have lost everything and everyone. Since their marriage they have 3 children, a girl 10, a boy 7 and a boy 21 months. The mother sews and would like to have a sewing machine. The father has found work. They are grateful to be here where they are safe. The father would like to have a bicycle to help with transportation to and from work. They need size 5 pampers for their little one. They need blankets and jackets for their children, size 12 for the daughter and size 10 for the son. They are a very pleasant, tidy family with hopes for a good future.
Our second family is originally from Bhutan. They are a mother and father with their 21-year-old son and a 10-year-old granddaughter. They fled to Nepal in 1992 leaving behind a very large farm in Bhutan where they were able to provide everything they needed for their family. The son was able to receive an education through grade 10. He has a brother and sister in their twenties still in Nepal. They are waiting for them to be assigned a date to join them here in the US. They were unable to work in the refugee camp in Nepal. They chose to be resettled in the US because they knew they could get good jobs here and have an opportunity for citizenship.
Our third family is originally from Afghanistan. They are a mother with 2 sons ages 16 and 21 and a daughter 22. The children were born in Iran where the parents had fled during the Afghanistan/Russian conflict. The father tried to return to Afghanistan with another son. The father was killed by the Taliban and the son is in prison there. The mother and other 3 children came here from Turkey where they had lived for 5 years. They are very happy to have safety in their lives now. The children hope to go on with their educations.