Family Bios: November 3, 2018 (morning)

We will visit a family who were originally from Eritrea but fled their country because of war and the lack of educational opportunities for their children.  They lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia until June 2018 when they immigrated to Arizona. The father, age 38, was a shop owner in his native land but he was unable to work in the camp. The mother, age 33, had just given birth a week ago to their fourth child, a boy.  The family has two older boys, ages 16 and 13, and a girl, age 15.  They were able to attend school while in the refugee camp and really enjoy learning.   The children are excited about their educational opportunities in Arizona and are motivated to pursue higher learning.  Their daughter talks about wanting to become a doctor.  The family is very happy to be in the United States, and the father has found work in a laundry.  The parents’ dream is for all of their children to finish college and find good jobs.

We will also visit a multi-generational family who had fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1999 because of war and were in a refugee camp in Tanzania for many years.  The arrived in the United States in August 2018. The grandmother is age 62.  He daughter arrived in camp as a child and now has four children (two daughters, ages 14 and 4, and two sons, ages 12 and 1).  Life in the camp was very difficult, and there was no work for the family.  The grandmother had been a farmer in her native land.  She has ongoing medical problems with her hearing and sight, and she is very grateful for the medical care she has received since arriving in the United States.  The children were able to attend school in the refugee camp.  Their mother never had the opportunity for any education but hopes that she can attend school in the future.  She is currently focused on finding employment to support her family.  Her dream is for all of her children to be able to go to university and to improve her economic status and she wants to work to help them pursue their goals.  The mother’s brother is currently living in the Phoenix area and is a support to the family.

And we will visit a multi-generational family who was originally from the DRC but fled the country  in 1995 because of the war and lived in a refugee camp in Burundi until they came to Arizona in May 2018.   Grandma is 76.  Her daughter 38 and was able to attend school in camp and finished the 8th grade.  She has two daughters, ages 11 and 18, who were born in the camp and attended school there.  Her younger daughter is doing well in school and enjoys learning.  Her older daughter will begin a special school program next week as she was not eligible for regular high school because of her age.  The mother is currently working a second shift in a meat plant and enjoys her job.  She describes life as “very good in America,” and she is focused on working and improving the lives of her family members.