January 27, 2015

Flag_of_Myanmar.svgOne family we will visit is a family of eight from Burma. The husband is thirty five years old and the wife is twenty nine years old. They have four daughters (ages 15, 10, 9 and 5). They also have two sons (ages 6 and 3). The wife is expecting another child in June. Thousands of refugees from Burma have lived in refugee camps in Thailand for thirty years. This family arrived in Phoenix on December 12, 2014.  The husband and wife have lived in a refugee camp since each was about two years old. They have been married for fifteen years. While they lived in the refugee camp the father supported his family by selling bread and other food which he prepared. Since their arrival in Phoenix the older children have begun to attend school. The teenagers attend a local high school. The six year old is having a difficult time adjusting to school. The children are learning to speak English in school. The husband and wife want to learn to speak English. The family has one cousin in the area, who lives in Glendale. The husband wants to work and is willing to accept work in any capacity.

Flag of Ethiopia.svgAnother family we will visit consists of two cousins from Ethiopia. One of the young men is twenty eight years old and the other is thirty years old. These two young men fled Ethiopia in 2005 and moved to Kenya. The twenty-eight year old cousin arrived in Phoenix November 13, 2014 and the thirty year old cousin arrived in Phoenix  on November 25, 2014. When they lived in Ethiopia the two young men worked in their community assisting children who were affected by the Civil War in Ethiopia. They assisted children by hiding them and later helping them to transition to life in Kenya. The twenty-eight year old man would like to continue with his education. He would like to learn to speak better English and is willing to work in any capacity. The thirty year old man is currently working at the Airport. He has a twin and an older brother. When there are twins in their culture the all first born men are given the same unique name in their full name. He has a life goal to find his older brother. They have no family in the U.S. but they do have family who still live in Ethiopia.

Flag_of_Iraq.svgAnother family we will visit consists of a young couple from Iraq. The husband is twenty-seven years old and the wife is seventeen years old. The battle between ISIS and the government of Iraq has caused many people in their country to flee for their safety. Many people in Iraq are forced to live under bridges, in unfinished buildings and in displacement camps because of the chaos in their country. With winter approaching displaced Iraqis face real danger with sub-zero temperatures. The United Nations assisted this family’s departure from Iraq after the husband’s life was threatened. The husband worked as a driver for the government. The family arrived in Phoenix on December 9, 2014. They have been married for a year and a half. The couple is expecting their first child in a month. They have relatives who live in Boston. They couple want to learn English and to follow their educational goals. The husband is willing to work in any job he can get after the baby is born.



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