January 14, 2012

Iraqi FlagThe first WTAP delivery will be with a small family of three from Iraq; a husband, wife and their adult daughter. The daughter, who is 26 years old, speaks English fairly well and will be able to interpret for the family. While in Iraq, the wife was employed by an American company and the husband was a truck driver. The family received death threats because of the wife’s job and there was also a kidnap attempt on the daughter, who was a university student at the time. In 2005, the family decided it was no longer safe for them to live in Iraq. They escaped to Syria where they stayed for the next six years. The couple’s son was granted refugee status in 2008 and lives in Australia. They have not seen him since that time but are hopeful he will be able to come visit now that they are in America. The family has not had much opportunity to venture out of their apartment complex except to go to the hospital where the husband is undergoing kidney dialysis. The daughter is hoping to resume her Information Technology studies and would also like to find employment to help support her parents.

Eritrean FlagThe second delivery will be with a 38-year-old man from Eritrea, a country in northeast Africa. He left his country four years ago due to political persecution and human rights violations. He felt that his life was in danger and had to leave quickly. In doing so, he had to leave his young daughter behind with his mother. Upon leaving Eritrea, he sought safe haven in Ethiopia, residing in a refugee camp before coming to Phoenix last month. He speaks a little English and Italian and is hoping to find a job soon so he can support himself and his daughter; he is hoping she will be able to join him. Currently, he shares a studio apartment with another Eritrean man who will be moving soon and taking the furnishings with him, leaving only a bed and television behind for him. Therefore, he can use many things to make his soon-to-be-empty apartment more like a home. He enjoys going to the library and seems very interested in learning English. Educational materials would be appreciated.

Eritrean FlagThe last delivery will be with a 51-year-old Amhara gentleman from Ethiopia who lives alone in a studio apartment. He indicated that he’d left Ethiopia 25 years ago when the military juntas began killing thousands of people and confiscating their land. His father was one of the victims. He spent 25 years in a refugee camp in Kenya and made a little money with various labor jobs. Currently, his wife is still in Kenya and awaiting documentation to come to the U.S. He arrived in August and is continuing to look for employment.

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