We will visit a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mom and dad were farmers, who were forced to flee the conflict in their country with their infant daughter. They spent over 18 years in Uganda waiting for asylum. In that time, their family grew to include 7 more children. Some were able to attend school in camp, and many speak some English. This family now also includes a baby who was born just after their arrival in Phoenix and a grandmother who lives with them too. They are all in a 2-bedroom apartment. They are hoping to secure a bigger space soon. The children are all very eager to start school, and specifically asked for backpacks and school supplies. The while family is anxious to start a new life and hope one day to be able to visit their oldest sibling, the only child born in the Congo, who was resettled in Kentucky.
We will also visit a family from Myanmar, formerly Burma. This family is Rohingya, part of a Muslim minority group in Myanmar that has suffered tremendous persecution. Father, mother and a brother fled Myanmar in 2005. They spent 10 years awaiting asylum in Malaysia before being resettled here in Phoenix in December 2015. Both of this family’s children, 2 boys, were born in Malaysia. In Myanmar, the father and brother were house painters. For the years they were in Malaysia, they did construction work. Now in Phoenix, they also work together. They joked that they will work together all their lives. Mom has settled into life in Phoenix and has made friends with Rohingya neighbors in her complex. The older boy is doing well in school and his little brother has a friend his age who lives right next door.The family is happy to be here, together, working and getting an education, things that were not safely possible for them back in Myanmar.
Finally, we will visit another Rohingya family from Myanmar. Mom and dad have 2 girls, ages 12 and 11, and a baby boy, who is just 9 months old. Dad is working and the girls are doing very well in school. Their teacher said their English is already great. Volunteers who visit will get to hear the story of this family’s journey to America from the girls and Dad, who speak English but were not home the day of our home visit.