One family is from the Congo region of Africa. The family includes a mother, age 32, her son, age 15, and two daughters, age 11 and 4. They arrived to the United States in late April from a refugee camp in Rwanda. The mother left her Congo home as a young child. War in the Congo put her and her family in great danger and food was in very short supply. She and her family fled to Rwanda and found refuge in camp. That was 20 years ago. The mother lived most of her life in refugee camps. All three of her children were born in camps, and they have never been to their mother’s home in Congo. Their apartment in the United States is their first real home. The children look forward to school in America and to playing sports. The mother is pleased for her children’s safety and opportunity.
Our next family consists of two brothers in their twenties from Iraq. Iraq is dangerous, wrought with war, kidnappings, bombings, food and supply shortages, and constant fears. With help from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the brothers were able to gain passage to the United States. Their parents remain in Iraq, but the brothers hope to quickly find jobs and help their parents to join them in our country. In Iraq, one brother worked in human resources for a private US company and the other brother worked in an administrative position. Both learned English at university, one choosing it for his major. They also watched English language movies to improve their language skills. Although they have only been here a matter of weeks, the brothers are taking classes to help their transition and very actively seeking employment. They are very pleased to be in America and are appreciative of the opportunities our country offers.
This family is from Syria and includes a mother and her two children, a 23 year old daughter and teenage son. Civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, and the family has been running from danger ever since. The family fled Syria in 2012, traveling to Lebanon on foot and with few possessions. Refugees from Syria number in the millions and camps in that region are overrun. A Lebanese shelter provided temporary housing however the family had many restrictions on their movement and could not work In Lebanon. The family arrived to the US in late May. They see America as “the land of chances,” but know that their early days will be difficult. The mother was a school teacher in Syria. The daughter was a high achieving student and, prior to war, looked forward to university. In the US, the daughter hopes to continue her academic pursuits while working to support the family. The son looks forward to school so that he can learn and meet new friends.