Our first family is from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, and their 6 children ranging in ages from 8-23. They fled in 2013 to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled to Phoenix 2 months ago. The family had a wonderful upper middle class life before the war. The father worked as a dentist, and the mother was a homemaker. Since arriving in Phoenix, it has been a hard adjustment for them, as the father will have to wait to begin practicing as a dentist again, and the older children are planning to work for the time being, but desire to resume their university studies. The eldest son speaks proficient English and was studying to become an engineer while in Syria and briefly in Jordan, and desires to continue to pursue that field in America. The younger children are enrolled in school and learning English quickly.
The second family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, consisting of a father, mother, and their 5 children, ranging in age from 11-22. The father and mother owned a clothing store in DRC, and the father was also a pastor and volunteered with the Red Cross. During the Congolese Civil War, many different ethnicities were fighting each other and the father belonged to two ethnicities, Bembe and Mulenge, and was thus targeted by both sides of his own family. They fled in 2006 to Uganda, and then Kenya, where they stayed until being resettled 1 month ago. Fortunately, the children were able to attend school while in their refugee camp, and all speak English very well. The children have not yet been enrolled in school, but will be soon, and they are eager to begin attending again. The parents and adult children are also eager to begin working and planning their lives in America. The father would also like to pursue becoming a pastor again or assist within the administration of a church.
The third family is also from Syria, consisting of a father, mother, and their 6 children, ranging in age from 6-16. They fled in 2012 to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled 2 months ago. Before the war in Syria they enjoyed an upper middle class life where the father worked in IT and the mother was a homemaker. In Jordan, the father studied massage therapy to help support his family. They still have some family in Syria and Jordan which they have not been able to keep in contact with them, which is stressful for the family. All of the children are enrolled in school and enjoying it, but miss their homeland.