May 5, 2012

Iraqi FlagThe first family we will deliver to is from Iraq, where one of their sons was personally threatened because of his work with a church. The civil war in Iraq made life for them very difficult and unsafe. The family of 3 traveled to the U.S. via Jordan where they lived for the last year and two months. They were not permitted to work in Jordan, so they applied for the Refugee program and are enthusiastic about their life in the United States. The father has a brother who settled in Phoenix earlier and they were fortunate enough to also travel with the son whom was threatened and resettle in Phoenix together. Prior to retirement, the father had worked as an office secretary and as a typist. The mother has been a homemaker. They have one son who has an electrician’s certificate from Iraq and whom also worked as a secretary and as a security guard.

Iraqi FlagThe next family is from Iraq via Jordan and then the United States. This 3rd floor, near staircase, two bedroom apartment was well kept and neat. This moderately young couple with a young toddler son spent slightly over a year in Jordan as a refugee from Iraq. Jordanian law prevents refugees from working and so the environment for them was very tough. Both parents being former teachers, they left Iraq when media reports began to threaten people who worked at churches, or specifically their church. They felt the environment terribly unsafe although they had been teachers for this church sponsored educational facility for years. Father taught both math and language to very young elementary students, while mother taught older kids Arabic. As the church was under threat, their lives were largely based through the church as it is where they both worked, and the place where their continuing education was sponsored. Although they are extremely recent arrivals to the USA they are both very appreciative and like the environment so far. Father speaks solid English and he is teaching the rest of the family including very friendly son. They are fortunate enough to have family members that live locally here in the United States. They stated the climate is similar to Iraq in Arizona but have yet to experience our famous summers.

Bhutanese FlagThe final family we will deliver to is from Bhutan via Nepal and then the United States. Their first floor apartment is moderate in size but has easy access to parking lot. This moderately young couple has a middle school aged son and an early elementary aged daughter. Daughter looks a couple years under her age. Family has experienced a tough journey as they were refugees in Nepal for 20 years. Mother and Father arrived in Nepal as young school age children and lived nearly the entirety of their lives there. Like many refugee camps access to betterment of their lives was limited. Although permitted to have small businesses out of their homes, access to normal working conditions is limited. Children however are educated in this refugee camp. Extremely recent arrivals to the USA, they are finding the overwhelming nature of all the changes very difficult. Their sparse apartment is in need of furniture and all the regular household items. Young daughter first question upon arrival was where are the toys? She requested big toys. She was outgoing and very kind. Son had a real passion for a bicycle as this will allow him to explore. Father has experience in construction and mother is largely a stay at home mother. Children might wait until August to enroll in school as school year is nearly finished in Phoenix. With AC non operable when we visited and no window screens, there is some legitimate concern about weather coming soon. Boy needs all the trappings of a soon to be teen, and girl needs all the toys/items of a fairly new elementary student. Mother is lucky enough to not only have her parents living in complex, but several extended family members. Young girl jumped into grandma’s arm as soon as grandma entered apartment.

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