The first family we will visit is from Burma. It is a family of five consisting of two parents and three young boys. The military strife and harsh conditions in Burma caused them to migrate to Malaysia. Conditions in Malaysia were not much better. Although they found some stability in a refugee camp, it was extremely difficult to find work and to educate the children. When they lived in Burma, the family had a farm. They ran a self sustaining farm designed to feed their immediate family and provide for their own needs. They did not earn a financial profit from their farm. Their largest crop on the farm was rice. The father also has some experience in construction. In Phoenix, they live in a moderate sized apartment on the first floor. The children are not yet enrolled in school but they will be soon. They will need books, backpacks and school supplies. The father is very concerned about getting a bicycle for himself so he can get to and from jobs. He is 4-11 in height and would need appropriate size adult bike. The eldest son, who is midway through elementary school, would also like a bike. The boys do not have games or items to keep them active. They are happy to be in Phoenix, because they have found a safe world for their sons here.
The next family we will visit is from the Congo. They are a large family who have two boys, and five girls. The children range in age from early elementary to college age. The family traveled from war-torn Congo to Uganda, where they had very limited opportunities in their refugee camp. They spent eight years in Uganda as refugees. A few of the children were born in the refugee camp. Neither the father nor the mother was allowed to work in the refugee camp but they were but provided with food. The education at the camp was fairly strong and one of the sons speaks a good deal of English. When they were living in the Congo the dad was a taxi driver and the mother was a tailor. Here they live in an upstairs, moderately sized apartment. The entire family would like bicycles for transportation. The younger girls would love to receive dolls. The family is very friendly and happy to be in Arizona. They appreciate any help they can receive from Welcome to America
The last family we will visit is originally from Somalia. This family consists of a single mother who is raising a small daughter. The mother is the first of her family to arrive in the USA. She is hopeful that other family member will join her in the U.S. soon. The mother’s family moved her to a refugee camp in Kenya when she was three years old. The mother speaks a great deal of English. The refugee camp in Kenya gave limited rights and benefits to refugees, yet the education in the camp was strong. The mother learned to speak English at the refugee camp. She was able to work in the refugee community building support positions: she was an ARC nutritionist, and a peace builder. They live in a small, third floor apartment. Their apartment in Phoenix is barren of furniture, and they need just about everything you could imagine for a single mom raising a preschool age girl. The mother and daughter are both very happy people, who are joyfully anticipating their life in Arizona.