June 13, 2015

Flag of Somalia.svg  The first family we will visit, a mother and two teenagers, fled the strife in Somalia years ago. On their way to the United States, they spent five years in Yemen and passed through Slovakia, before finally arriving in Arizona this April. Refugees in Yemen were not allowed to have jobs, so they subsisted as well as they could on the informal economy.  The 13-year old son is quite disabled and needs constant care.  The 16-year old daughter is excited about being able to continue her education and, ultimately, to get a job in Arizona.

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  The next family we will visit is from the Congo. They arrived in the United States in early May. There is an 18 year old young lady and a 56 year old woman who are living together as roommates although they are not from same family. Both of these women were displaced due to the war in the Congo. The 18 year old was sold by her parents in order to get money when she was a young teen. After a few years she escaped her captors and fled to a refugee camp in Kenya where she has lived for the past two years.  The 56 year old woman fled her village along with many family members to try to find safety anywhere they could. The family became divided and were not able to stay together. She found safety with nine other people she did not know. The group was hidden for some time period by some soldiers who kept them safe. The soldiers were able to get this woman to a refugee camp in Tanzania where she has lived for the past seventeen years. She believes she has some family members who have survived and are living in Burundi and Tanzania but she does not know if or when they will be able to join her in the US.

Flag of Somalia.svg   The final family we will visit this week is from Somalia. The family consists of a mother (25), father (27), and three daughters (aged 6, 5 and 1). The young family fled Somalia due to the civil war. The parents have been living in a refugee camp for 22 years. They arrived in the US in early April. The father is a barber by profession but he is interested in taking any work he can get to support his family.

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