We will visit a family from Syria.. The mother and father were both farmers. They grew all kinds of fruits and vegetables; “Everything!” the dad said, when asked what they grew. They fled with 5 children in 2012 to escape the war, while their oldest son stayed in Syria. The family lived in Jordan for 3 years, during which time they had another daughter.The family arrived in Phoenix in October 2015. Their adult son in Syria got married and now has children. They worry about him and the safety of his family. The father is working and taking English classes and the 4 older children are all doing well in school. The youngest will be starting a preschool for children with special needs soon. The family is happy to be here and safe, but they worry a lot about their oldest children, so it is hard for them to feel settled here.
We’ll visit a family from the Congo region of Africa The mother and father fled their home in 1996 with their daughter and their niece, whom they adopted. They lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania for 20 years before coming to the USA. They had 7 more children while living in exile.The father is a college graduate. He was a high school French teacher. The mother is a seamstress, and honed her skills here at the Lutheran Social Services Women’s Empowerment program. They are here with their 9 children (ages 23 to 5) and a grandson (14 months old). They all speak English. The father is working, but is hoping to find a teaching job. The mother is doing childcare. The younger children are all in school and doing very well.
And we will visit a family from South Sudan. The mother and children and the mother’s younger brother fled to Ethiopia in 2014 after her husband was captured during the war. They family lived in a refugee camp, unable to go to school or work, for 3 years. Five days before they left for resettlement in the USA, the father found them in the camp. The father is still in the camp in Ethiopia and they are trying to get reunification so he can join them here. The six children are all doing well in school, and the mother’s brother has a good paying job. The mother is also looking for work after a recent emergency surgery. This family has a relative here in Phoenix who resettled 14 years ago. He is able to help with some transportation needs and serves as a good resource for them. The mother was especially grateful for our visit. She said, “America is the best place in the world because there is freedom for every one and there is no war.”