Our first family is from Baghdad, Iraq. The family consists of a father, mother and 3 daughters, ages 11, 6, and 3. The father worked as a security guard for the US Armed Forces which put their lives in jeopardy after the US withdrew from Iraq. They were granted asylum in the US with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), a program for Iraqis and Afghans who have worked for the US Government. The father has a brother who has lived in Phoenix for 7 years and is helping them settle. They also have extended family still in Iraq whom they miss, but they are able to talk to them on the phone. The father has found employment, the older daughters are enrolled in school, and the mother stays at home with the youngest daughter. They are enjoying Phoenix and are hopeful for their future here.
The second family is from Homs, Syria. The family consists of a father, mother, and 4 children, ages 9, 7, 5, and 9 months. The father worked as a welder, and the mother was a homemaker. In 2012, when the war reached Homs, the family fled to Jordan where they stayed until being resettled here. They had a bit of a rough start as there were issues with their first apartment, but they are in a new apartment now, and the older children are enrolled in school. The father let us know that he wanted to thank the American government for bringing them here to live in peace, in a place where there will be a “good future for the kids.” The family is very hopeful for their future here.
Our third family is from Somalia, consisting of a single mother and her 4 children: an 18 year old daughter, a 15 year old son, and 10 year old twin sons. This family fled Somalia in 2005 when the mom was pregnant with her twins; and she delivered them on the way to the refugee camp in Kenya. At the refugee camp, the mom was able to work odd jobs to make extra money for the family to supplement their UN allotments. The boys attended school in the camp and learned English there. The daughter was not able to attend school, but was able to have an occasional tutor and learned English. The boys are enrolled in school and the daughter and the mom are looking for employment. They are grateful for the opportunity to live in America and are hopeful for their future.