Our first family is a brother and sister from Iran. The sister taught kindergarten in Iran while the brother had his own business selling shoes. Because of their Baha’i faith, the two left for Turkey where they spent a year and a half. Their extended family remains in Iran. (An Uncle remains in Iran while their mother is a nurse in Turkey and is waiting for Embassy approval to come here.) The siblings have spent 4 months here in Phoenix. The sister has found work at a hotel while the brother hopes to be able to attend college and study biology. In her spare time the sister enjoys painting and would appreciate art supplies (canvases & pastels), while her brother expressed an interest in playing the guitar if one is available.
The second family we visited was a family of three from Iraq. Mom, Dad, and their four year old son arrived in Phoenix in January. Dad originally worked as an x-ray technician before working in another capacity with the US Army. His brother also worked with the army but was killed by the militia. After being threatened, the family came to the US. The father has been fortunate enough to have found work here. Mom is expecting their second child this fall. When asked about hobbies, we learned that she likes to sew while her husband enjoys playing soccer (he requested a soccer ball and cleats). The son was somewhat shy at the beginning of our visit but we soon got to hear his beautiful singing voice! He will be starting school in the fall and would benefit from book donations and a small bike.
The third family visited was a family of five, however only Mom and one daughter were home. The second daughter and two sons were at school. The mother left Somalia in 1992 for Ethiopia with her husband, brother and sister-in-law. She lived in a refugee camp until three months ago, when she and her family arrived in Phoenix. All four children were born in the camp in Ethiopia. Unfortunately the husband/father passed away last year. Mom is very happy to be here where the family has enough water, good food, and is looking forward to a better life. The children enjoy going to school and, each afternoon, Mom is anxious to know what they learned that day. She is using this knowledge to teach herself how to read and write. The family would like a computer to help them with their educational needs.