The first visit will be to two single women who are roommates. While both are originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have had very different paths to the USA.
The first young woman (20) escaped from the DRC in 2008 with her mother, father and siblings, and lived in Namibia before coming here in August. In Namibia, she was able to attend school and finished secondary school. She worked as a librarian for a time. She speaks English very well, and hopes to go back to school. One day, she wishes to be a doctor. This young woman has an aunt living in Phoenix. She hopes that the rest of her family will also be able to join here one day.
The second young woman (18) escaped the DRC as a very small child with her aunt and uncle. She attended school for a time, and completed her studies through 9th grade. Sadly, her aunt passed away recently, and her uncle abandoned her. She is here all alone, and is pregnant. Despite her hardships, she is hopeful for the future. She is looking forward to having a healthy baby, and would like to go back to school to earn a degree in nursing.
The next family we will visit is also from the DRC. The father (78) and mother (52) were both farmers in the DRC. They escaped their country in 1997 with their one year old; the mother was pregnant when they ran away. After arriving in Rwanda, the family grew with 2 more children; the children are now 19, 18, 14, and 11.
The family has only been here since early September. The younger children will be starting school soon, and the parents were scheduled to begin English classes a few weeks ago. The older son speaks English well and is looking forward to going to school, graduating and opening a business. The family enjoys the company of friends who have been here for about 18 months. They all say that they like Phoenix, and don’t mind the heat. They are happy to be safe and expressed real gratitude to the Welcome to America Project for coming to visit them.