Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Volunteers are paired individually with students of KRM’s citizenship classes to study material for the citizenship exam, conduct mock citizenship interviews, and practice speaking English. Volunteers tend to meet weekly with the client they are matched with, although this schedule is flexible based on the date of the student’s naturalization exam. Before volunteers begin tutoring, they will receive training on the naturalization process. This opportunity requires volunteers to be 18 years of age or olderVolunteer Impact:
Clients who are enrolled in citizenship classes many times do not have the language skills necessary to pass their test to become a U.S. citizen. Volunteers might have to help them learn how to read and write in English and also converse with them, which helps the clients grasp the knowledge necessary for understanding the questions asked on the test. After clients understand English a little better, volunteers can help prepare them for the test more directly by asking the clients questions that would be asked in the interview. This one-on-one attention helps take the pressure off of the citizenship teacher and also gives the client a little more confidence.
About Kentucky Refugee Ministries
969 Cherokee Road, Louisville, KY 40204, US
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. (KRM), a non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing resettlement services to refugees through church- and agency-based sponsorship in order to promote self-sufficiency and successful integration into our community. KRM is committed to offering access to community resources and opportunities and to promoting awareness of diversity for the benefit of the whole community.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. is the refugee resettlement office in the state of Kentucky for two national church-based programs: The Episcopal Migration Ministries and Church World Service. Kentucky Refugee Ministries is authorized by the U.S. Dept. of State to assist refugees who have been legally admitted to the United States, as victims of warfare or other forms of persecution because of their religious or political beliefs.
Our program began in 1990 as an outreach of the Presbyterian denomination, shortly after the location of the Presbyterian Church (USA) headquarters in Louisville. It then expanded to include all of the Protestant denominations which make up the National Council of Churches, and then in 1994, added affiliation with the Episcopal Migration Ministries, the resettlement program of the Episcopal Church.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries now employs 30 people, who work both full and part time to serve refugees. Our staff includes caseworkers, job developers, and interpreters. Refugees themselves have been hired on our program staff and serve on our Board of Directors. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, Bosnian, French, Somali, and German and also works closely with contract interpreters who speak other languages native to the refugees we serve. Our main office and ESL school are both located at 969B Cherokee Rd. in Louisville. We also have a suboffice in Lexington.
Refugees come to this country as victims of trauma, as people who have lost their homes and families because of war, as people hoping for peace and freedom as they begin life anew. Our program provides them with apartments and furnishing, helps enroll children in school, gets families to medical treatment, and secures employment for family members who are able to go to work. Refugees come from very diverse educational and skill backgrounds, and we attempt to place the refugee in the best jobs available, given the client's language ability, background, training and experience. Long term assistance include job upgrades, assistance with certain immigration processes and classes and assistance preparing individuals to become naturalized American citizens.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries benefits from the help of many volunteers from service and educational institutions in the Louisville community. We are a church-based program, and we initially work to link refugees with church congregations who will sponsor them.
Since we began our work in 1990, we have placed over 4500 refugees in various Kentucky communities. These individuals and families represent 29 different nationalities and ethnic groups including Liberian, Colombian, Vietnamese, Haitian, Cuban, Iraqi, Somali, Kurdish, Bosnian, Kosovar, Russian, Ethiopian, Romanian, Sudanese, Benadir, Barawan, Togolese, Congolese, Afghani, Iranian, Ukrainian and Rwandan.