Things are looking up for Anab Farah, a clinical assistant in the Children's Hospital Primary Care Center (CHPCC). She's planning to start nursing classes at Roxbury Community College this summer, she's got a great job at Children's in the meantime, and 11 members of her family, whom she hasn't seen in eight years, recently arrived from Kenya.
Growing up, first in Somalia and later in Kenya, Anab could little imagine her life today. The violence found in so many African countries drove her and her husband, Abdi, to the United States. The couple was sponsored by a U.S. refugee program, which helped them find flights, housing and food.
Anab was soon the mother of four children—Hamza, Adnan, Bilal and Yasmin—and was taking the first steps towards her dream of being a nurse practitioner, taking classes at the Bryman Institute to become a clinical assistant. By chance, on a visit with her children to the CHPCC in January 2006, she mentioned to her family doctor, Philomena Asante, MD, that she was looking for a job. Within two months she was working in the very place she trusted to care for her kids, weighing patients, taking their blood pressures and measuring their heights.
"I love working with kids and their families," she says. "And of course, my coworkers are great. You can't do work without them—it's a team." The staff of the CHPCC have certainly taken to Anab, even throwing her a party when she received her first paycheck ever—some of which was sent back to Kenya to help her family.
With the arrival of the rest of her family to Boston, including her mother who had never seen her grandchildren, the Farah family's life changed yet again. "I was missing something," she says. "Now that I have my whole family here, I have everything." Abdi, who was caring for their children at home while Anab worked, is now able to work as well, since Anab's mother is babysitting. A cab driver currently, Abdi shares his wife's interest in health care and is studying to be a pharmacist.
Anab still has a long way to go, with four years of school to become a nurse and another two to become a nurse practitioner, but it's a road she is excited to travel. The one thing she knows for certain is that she wants to continue working at Children's Hospital Boston. It's a long way from Kenya, but it feels like
home to her.