Family Bios: June 1, 2019

We will be visiting a family of five, with mother, father, two daughters (ages 5 and 7) and a son (age 9).  The father fled his village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996 because his life was in danger.  He finally settled in Burundi in 2003 where he lived in the community, working as a bus driver. In Burundi, he met his wife and they went on to have their three children. They arrived in Arizona on March 12, 2019, and the husband said that he “thanks God” they are here.  The two older children have started school, and like it, and a week ago the father started working in a food preparation plant.  He said that his dream is “to do something good in America.”

We will also visit a family originally from Eritrea.  The mother and father have two daughters (ages 2 and 10), and two sons (ages 6 and 13).  They left the country 8 years ago because of problems with the political party in power.  They had imprisoned the wife’s brother who later died in custody.  The family fled to Ethiopia where they lived in a refugee camp for eight years.  The camp provided security for the family but food and clothing rations were very limited.  Both parents graduated from teaching colleges in Eritrea and taught in the school system in the camp.  They arrived in Arizona on April 3, 2019, and feel “very fortunate” to be in this country.  They are looking forward to finding work and being able to change the family’s life.  The husband’s dream is to become a truck driver and his wife hopes to further her education and continue to work with children. The children love soccer and are looking forward to attending school next term.

We will also welcome an extended family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The father and mother have four adult children – three sons (ages 23, 27, and 28) and a daughter (age 32) who also has two children, a daughter (age 2) and a son (age 7).  They fled the DRC because of war in 2001 and settled in Burundi where they lived within the community with families who helped them.  The family arrived together in Arizona on March 6, 2019, and are very happy to be settled here.  They occupy two apartments adjacent to each other with the parents and their daughter and grandchildren in one apartment, and the three adult sons in the other apartment.  They look forward to the opportunities for education and employment in their new country.