We will have both a morning and afternoon delivery this weekend, for a total of 5 families.
Our first family is a man from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He arrived in the US a few months ago and is currently partaking in a job training program through his resettlement agency. He speaks English fairly well and is happy to be here. More details to follow soon.
Our second family consists of father, mother and their 2 daughters. The mother’s parents were born in Afghanistan and immigrated to Iran where she was born. She later married a man who was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to Iran with his parents. The daughters were born in Iran. Because the family had Afghani roots, they were treated similar to slaves and had no rights. The father worked for 30 years in whatever jobs he could get (construction, selling shoes) but had to work similar to our system of undocumented immigrants. They were also unable to access healthcare because the Iranian government refused to let doctors treat them, and the father suffers heart disease. In order for them to have received any education for their daughters, they had to pay large sums of money to the government because of their Afghani heritage. They fled Iran to Turkey initially by car but when they got to the mountains they had to hire a horse as no cars could travel this route over the desert terrain and mountains. When they made it to Turkey, the went to the UN to declare refugee status. They were able to stay in Turkey and receive good medical treatment and assistance from the Turkish government and UNHCR. They stayed in Turkey for a little over a year. The whole family is so happy to be here and so grateful to have the opportunity to get good healthcare and education for the family. The 15 year old daughter composes rap songs and tells stories of her life in Iran and journey to America. The 10 year old loves to roller skate and is excited to go to school. The father believes the US has saved his life.
Our third family is from Cuba, consisting of a husband and wife who are expecting their first child. They had both studied at a university in Cuba, but felt there were no freedoms or opportunities for them. They left Cuba and went to Ecuador, and later Columbia, back to Ecuador, then made their way to Panama. From there they traveled some of the way by foot, through jungle, across rivers, by bus, whatever means they could find to get to the border of Texas. Once they reached Texas 10 months ago they were granted asylum status. They decided to go to Phoenix where they have a friend and he let them stay with him. One month ago they moved into their own apartment. The husband is trained to work in a dental laboratory, and has been able to find work doing that here! Gisela is due with their first child very soon so she plans to stay home and care for child, and later find work. They are so happy to be in the United States where they have the opportunity that they didn’t have in Cuba.
Our first family is from Afghanistan, consisting of a father, mother, their 2 adult sons, one daughter in law, and a toddler grandson. They fled Afghanistan 9 years ago and went to Turkey, where they registered with the UN. The father is a butcher and was able to work in his occupation in Turkey. The younger son finished high school in Turkey and then worked a variety of jobs while his brother worked as a tailor. As refugees in Turkey, they were not able to earn enough money for the family. Once approved for resettlement by UNHCR, they were originally resettled in Portland Oregon but decided to move to Arizona in March because of the mother’s health problems. They also have another son/brother who is married with two children who is currently living in Turkey. The youngest son speaks English very well and wants to attend college to study engineering. The older brother hopes to also study in college, but his current focus is on finding work to support his family.
Our second family is also from Afghanistan and consists of a husband, wife and their toddler son, the wife is also pregnant. The husband worked for the US Military in Afghanistan and thus his life was threatened. The husband’s brother also worked for the US Military and was resettled to Texas over a year ago. When the married brother and his family were approved as SIVs, the brother left Texas to help them settle in Arizona. They all now live together. The single brother was lawyer in Afghanistan, the married brother has a business degree, and the wife has a mathematics degree. They would all like to transfer their credentials to America and work in their respective fields, but are currently willing to take any job to support the family. They are very grateful to be in America.