Family Bios: February 22, 2020

We will visit a recently-arrived family from the Congo.  The family includes the mother and her two sons (ages 16 and 8), who arrived here in November 2019.  The children are attending school, and the mother is currently working in a bakery.  She fled the Congo in 1996 with her family because of the war raging there.  Unfortunately, her father was killed during the escape.  She settled with her mother and two younger siblings in a refugee camp in the western part of Rwanda where life was very difficult for them.  She eventually married and had two children born in the camp; however, her husband died when her younger son was only six months old.  When asked about her dreams for the future, she said “I just want to work hard” and “raise my children to be successful.”

We will also visit a family from Iraq.  The father fled Iran 25 years ago because his family was threatened by the Taliban.  He settled in Iran for 16 years where he married his Afghan wife and had his first son, who is now 10 years old.  He worked in construction but he decided to leave the country because his son was unable to attend school there.  The family moved to Turkey where they lived for 7 years in a refugee camp that had a school for his son but did not allow him to work which made life “really tough” for them.  Their daughter, who is now 3 years old, was born in the camp.  Since arriving in Arizona in December 2019, their lives have improved significantly.  Their son, who is in the fourth grade, likes school and has already made friends there.  Both parents are learning English along with their children, and the husband is working with his sponsoring agency to find employment.  Their hopes for the future focus on their children receiving a wonderful education and becoming successful adults.