Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

International Center Helps Refugees Relocate to Owensboro

 

comm garden1 500

OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/15/13) – Now in its fourth year in Owensboro, a long-running agency focused on helping international refugees find a second chance in western Kentucky has relocated more than 300 people so far and plans to help as many as 50 more families this year.

Located on 9th St. near Frederica St. in Owensboro, the satellite office of the Bowling-Green based agency Western Kentucky Refugee Services consists of a staff of between four to six people, and several of those were refugees themselves. Martha Little, Site Director for the local center, said it’s important to have people who have been through the situation on staff because it helps them find and encourage others who can benefit from the opportunity of relocating.
 
Little said the agency works closely with the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to identify candidates who would be a good fit for relocating in the Owensboro area. She said the agency uses several criteria to select candidates.
 
“A lot of the people we review have been in refugee camps for years,” Little said. “They are getting away from civil war and poverty. They need a place where they can grow. We don’t take these people and direct them. We help them become self-sufficient.”
 
Little said before the refugees relocate, they have typically begun or completed citizenship in the U.S.
 
A case worker on Little’s staff, David Min, came to the U.S. from Malaysia two years ago, and now works to help other refugees from his native region.
 
“I’m not a refugee anymore,” Min said as he talked with SurfKY about the agency.

comm garden2 500
Another former refugee on Little’s staff, Ema Da, has been in the region for more than five years after leaving Thailand when he was 21. One of the hardest things to do for many refugees, the men said, was to leave their families behind. Some of them still have family in the refugee areas they escaped from. They said it isn’t uncommon for a husband or a wife to leave his or her spouse and children behind to come to the U.S. with the hope the rest of the family will be able to follow.

On June 22, Refugee Services will host a “Refugee Day” event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bellevue Baptist Church. Little and others on her staff said the center is in need of a variety of items, clothes, and volunteers on a regular basis, and the event will provide an opportunity for people who want to learn more about the program.
 
The center currently partners with several local groups, including Bresica University for office space and Audubon Area Community Services for assistance with other related needs. The agency is a 501c3 facility. It’s headquarters operation in Bowling Green has been helping refugees relocate for about 30 years.

Visit www.immigrationrefugeeservices.org for more information about the International Center of Bowling Green and Owensboro.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Nathan Johnson

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Henderson Sheriff's Matthew Brooks Among DOCJT Grads

RICHMOND, Ky. (8/29/14) — Law enforcement officers from 14 agencies across the state graduated today from basic… Read More

No College = Low Wages : A Muhlenberg County Call to Action

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (8/29/14) — The Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress along with the Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 29, 2014 6668

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 28, 2014 5342

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 5328

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 4829

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 4503

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 30, 2014 2791

Ponderosa Madisonville to Donate 10…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 26, 2014 2217

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson
August 27, 2014 1639

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - August…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
August 30, 2014 774

City of Madisonville Says 'Goodbye' to…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 763

MCC Announces New Board Members

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 26, 2014 5328

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 4503

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 26, 2014 2506

City Hall, Transit, Sanitation Schedules…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 27, 2014 1996

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 1851

Happy Birthday to the Edge Ice Center

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 28, 2014 5342

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 4829

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 4292

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 3125

Annual Everly Brothers Cruise In…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 2476

Muhlenberg Job Corps Former Student…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06