Our first delivery is to two young women from Afghanistan who lived most of their lives in Iran. One, who is 34 years old, was only able to attend Iranian schools through about the 8th grade, and even that was a struggle for her family. As a foreigner, she could only find work as a seamstress. Her first job in Arizona is doing custodial work in a hotel. She hopes she will be able to get more training and find better work soon. This young woman enjoys doing crochet – volunteers might notice an attractive piece of her work on a small table in their living room. The other young woman is 31 years old and was able to earn the equivalent of a BA in public health in Iran. Nonetheless, as a foreigner in Iran her education did not count so she had no hope of finding meaningful work. She hopes to be able to continue her education in Arizona, though probably not in the same field. She has already applied to college and is seeking a scholarship. Their families fled Afghanistan because of the war and civil strife there, and they lived in Iran as outsiders. They have great hope that they are now to be in a place where they are safe, and can move forward in their lives.
The second delivery will be to an Afghan mother and her daughter. They fled war-torn Afghanistan decades ago and lived in Iran from the time the daughter was 3 or 4 years old. They had very few opportunities in Iran because they were living there as foreigners. The daughter is now 34 years old, and she does not have any formal education. When they came to Arizona, she and her mother left behind the rest of their family. She has adult sisters and brothers who have either returned to Afghanistan or remained in Iran. The 71 year old mother misses them terribly and is also grieving the loss of her husband, who died 6 years ago.
Another delivery will be to two young men from Iran. One is 36 years old, the other is 29 years old. One of the men has recently arrived. One is disabled and gets around with the help of crutches and a wheelchair.
The final family we will visit is an Iranian family of three who arrived in Arizona on December 6th. The father was a locksmith in Iran. They lived in Turkey for three years where they had to exhaust all of their money to support themselves and their children. They have a daughter who lives in Los Angeles. Shortly after this week’s WTAP delivery the family will be moving to an apartment closer to their two sons, who arrived in the valley in 2009. They have help with the move and are not concerned about moving the furniture from this apartment to the new one. They will be happy to be living near their sons, and grateful for the help they receive from WTAP and our volunteers!