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100 Afghan refugees coming to Owensboro

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - In mid-September, Afghan humanitarian parolees will begin arriving in Owensboro, thanks to the International Center of Kentucky.

Humanitarian parolees are similar to refugees, only their process of seeking asylum is expedited due to an emergency, like in the case of the current situation in Afghanistan.

“The ones we have coming in recently from Afghanistan are going to be people who risked their lives to support the U.S. and support our troops,” Anna Allen, site director for the International Center of Kentucky in Owensboro said.

The vetting process has already started for these Afghan natives. Before coming to America, they will receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine. Once they arrive, they will receive help while they get acclimated.

“We have several employment programs, so we have an employment specialist,” Allen said. “She will go over four different types of employment training: talking about the American workplace, taxes, benefits. Then, she will place them in jobs, help them fill out their applications and fill out resumes.”

Allen added that housing has been the biggest challenge so far, but the community has been calling nonstop to offer their help.

“We’ve had a lot of people call and say they are willing to host refugee families in their homes until we can find permanent housing,” Allen added. “Everyone is calling to say ‘how can we help, what can we do?’ It’s been really heartwarming to see our community pull together like this.”

Adult refugees will be provided with English lessons, and kids will be placed in schools upon arrival.

For more information on how you can help these parolees become acclimated, or donate to the International Center as they help these people adjust, visit icofky.com.

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