Family Bios: April 15, 2017

The first family is a woman age 43 from Cuba and her partner age 33.  The two women left Cuba to do internships in Venezuela.  One is an orthodontist and the other is a doctor.  They spent five years and nine months in Venezuela then made their way to Brazil where they spent seven months. They were accepted as refugees and spent one month in Miami before arriving in Phoenix.  They both want to get a job and slowly work their way back to the dental and medical fields.  They speak a little English and they like music.


The second family is a brother age 31 and his sister.  They graduated from medical school in Cuba and went to Venezuela for an internship.  From there they went to Colombia where they lived for five months in tough conditions because they did not have a work permit.  As they arrived in the United States, they spent a month in Miami until they were placed in Phoenix on March 15th, 2017.  They, speak some English, have some aunts in Miami and miss their family in Cuba very much.  They will not be able to return to Cuba for eight years, after that they can return to visit their parents and one brother in Cuba.


The third visit is to two men also from Cuba that did not know each other prior to being placed together in apartment.One is 45 years old and has worked as a doctor for 20 years.  He left a wife in Cuba to do a medical internship in Venezuela where he worked 7 years.  Next, he went to Brazil where he worked 3 years doing another internship.  From Brazil, he was accepted as a refugee and spent 45 days in Miami before being resettled in Phoenix.  He hopes to bring his wife to Phoenix.  The second man is 32 years old and graduated in medicine in 2011.  He also went to Venezuela for an internship where he worked 4 years.  Next, he went to Colombia where he stayed five months until he was accepted as a refugee in the United States.  They both like music and soccer and look forward to getting jobs and learning English.


This week we will deliver to three brothers and their families, all of whom are from Afghanistan. There are 17 family members in total. The oldest brother is married and has six children, ages 9 to 18. The next brother and his wife have two boys, ages 3 and 1. The third brother and his wife have a 2 year old son and are expecting a child in the coming months.
The brothers were quite successful in Afghanistan and owned transportation and security businesses. They also were land owners and the families lived a comfortable and safe existence. Then, about 15 years ago, Taliban forces stole their land and threatened their businesses with extortion. The family was attacked and fled into hiding in Pakistan. In subsequent encounters, one of the brothers was shot several times but survived the ambush. For many years, the family has continued to move locations in Pakistan and Afghanistan to hide from their enemies. The brothers lost their business and could not work in hiding. The children had difficulty attending schools.
The families arrived to the US early this year. Two of the brothers quickly found work in service industries and the third brother expects to start work soon. They are especially motivated not just to provide for their families but also because a fourth brother, still unsafe in his homeland, hopes to join them in our country. The older children have started school and are quite happy to be learning and living in a safe environment.