The families we will see today include one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a widow and her three adult children – a daughter, age 23, and two sons, ages 26 and 27. They left their country almost 16 years ago and have lived ever since in a Burundi refugee camp, where her husband died. This March they were relocated to Arizona, where they have settled in well. One son received a scholarship in the refugee camp which allowed him to study to be a teacher. He hopes to be able to teach here.
We will see a Syrian family, who also arrived this March. The young couple have two children, a 9-year old son and a 6-year old daughter. When they were forced to leave their country seven years ago, they fled to Jordan, then relocated to Saudi Arabia, and had to return to Jordan before finally being resettled in Arizona. They spoke of how much they appreciated and were moved by the warm welcome they received when they got off the airplane in Phoenix. The father is a skilled carpenter and hopes to find such work here. Their children liked their first months of school here very much.
We will also visit also visit a family of 10 from Tanzania. Mom and Dad are from the DRC but lived the last 20 years in a camp in Tanzania, where they met and all their children were born. In Tanzania, Dad worked in a medical lab at a UN-run hospital, and he would like to work in the same type of job here. He also attended the John Maxwell School of Leadership and was active in supporting orphans and “those who did not have a voice.” He would very much like to get back in touch with his group in Tanzania to be sure the work is still being done. They have been in the US just over 1 month. Mom and Dad are both very proud of their children (3 sons and 5 daughters), whose ages range from 8 month to 15 years. The older children are enrolled in school and are starting to understand English.