On Saturday, we’ll visit a family from Afghanistan. The family had to flee their home after being threatened because of the father’s association with US Armed Forces. He worked in construction for 7 years helping our soldiers on the ground in his home country. The father and mother were married in Afghanistan and have three children (ages 5, 4 and 1). Most of their family is still back in Afghanistan, but the father does have a cousin in Glendale and a sister in California. The family came directly to the USA from Afghanistan and has only been here a month, but they are enjoying their time. The father already has a job. The mother has been working on her English. The older daughter will be starting kindergarten soon. They are very happy to be here and to be safe, and expressed great appreciation for the welcome and the help from the Welcome to America Project.
We will visit another family from Afghanistan. This young woman (23) is the responsible adult for her 2 siblings (ages 13 and 12). The family is originally from Afghanistan, but fled with their parents to Pakistan. They lived there for several years before being granted asylum. The children were granted asylum, but their parents did not come. They do not know where their parents are now. The older sister is working on her English skills and hopes to get a job soon. The younger siblings will be starting school next month. They were particularly keen on getting a desk to do their homework. The family is doing well, especially considering their unique situation. A mentor is helping them getting adjusted to their new life and they have some friends here in the Valley.
We’ll visit a third family from Afghanistan. They arrived here on a Special Immigration Visa. The husband assisted the US government in Afghanistan and his family was threatened because of this work. His unit officers were originally from Arizona and that is why this family has been resettled here. In Afghanistan, the husband worked in information technologies, assisting US Agencies in distribution of foreign aid. The wife is a nurse. She worked visiting rural areas in Afghanistan to provide health care and medical training. The couple got their college educations in Pakistan, where they learned English. They met upon their return to Afghanistan, where they got married and had two children, now ages 3 and 5. They are expecting a baby in August. This family arrived in Phoenix in April. The children did not start school, but are looking forward to going in August. The father is looking for a job and the mother is getting ready to add the newest member of their family. They said they are happy to be here together, even though all their family remains in Afghanistan.
On Monday, we will meet a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The father and his parents were farmers. His parents were killed while he was working on the farm. He left after this happened in 1994 and headed to the Refugee Camp in Tanzania. He met his wife in the camp and they had their three children there. They have two boys ages 10 and two and a daughter that is eight. They left the camp and arrived in Arizona in April of 2016. The father has one sister that remained in Tanzania. The father is presently working and the two older children are attending school and enjoy it. The children speak some English.
The last family we’ll meet, also from Democratic Republic of Congo, is a family of seven. The children are three boys ages 15, 14 and two and two girls ages 11 and eight. The father left the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997 for Uganda and stayed in a refugee camp for 19 years. He met his wife there and all the children were born there. They arrived in Arizona October of 2016. The school aged kids are in school and speak English. Mom is expecting another child in August. The father has a brother is Kansas and one in refugee camp.