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The Bowling Green-based International Center of Kentucky expects to resettle 350 refugees by October 2024

Lisa Autry

The International Center of Kentucky has resettled thousands of refugees in Warren County since it was established in 1981. The agencycontinues to help refugees adapt to life in the United States and expects to resettle around 350 refugees by October 2024.

The center is a refugee support group that works with local, regional, and national organizations to safely relocate refugees in the southern Kentucky region. The organization also helps newly arrived refugees secure steady employment and stable housing.

Since Oct. 1, 2023, the beginning of the current federal fiscal year, the center has relocated 87 individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burma. The Center has also helped secure employment for 60 refugees since the beginning of October, with all but one of those jobs being full-time and including medical insurance.

International Center President Albert Mbanfu said he expects to see the trend continue into the new year.

“Considering we have four quarters; everything being equal if we go with this number then we are looking at ending the fiscal year at around 350, 340-something,” Mbanfu said.

Mbanfu said this week he anticipates the International Center to resettle roughly 350 refugees from Cuba, Africa, and Latin America before the end of the current fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2024.

In 2023, the center saw the highest influx of Cuban immigrants in over ten years, as Kentucky has become home to thousands of Cubans since 2020. The agency is working with offices in Louisville and Owensboro to ensure that the needs of refugees are being met.

The resettlement agency works with families and individuals to ensure they secure long-term housing and provides resources to assimilate into life in a new country.

According to Mbanfu, the refugees can strengthen the local economy by providing a stronger workforce.

“So we have more refugees placed in jobs in Warren County now than in the past,” Mbanfu said. “And we really hope that trend continues.”

Jacob Martin is a Reporter at WKU Public Radio. He joined the newsroom from Kansas City, where he covered the city’s underserved communities and general assignments at NPR member station, KCUR. A Louisville native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, New York before moving back to Kentucky. Email him at