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Finding Common Threads: Volunteering with the Cultural Exchange Program

There are many ways to volunteer with Kentucky Refugee Ministries in Louisville and Lexington. A growing program in Louisville is our Adult Cultural Exchange opportunity, which pairs adults with refugee individuals or families who are in need of some extra friendship, support, and welcome.

Each week for approximately three months, the pair meets and spends time together. After an initial meeting with a KRM representative and, if necessary, an interpreter, the pairings begin meeting on their own. Volunteers and refugees often visit local parks, travel to the grocery, enjoy time at the local attractions, or just spend time talking.

Since 2012, over 120 refugee participants have been paired with a volunteer through the Adult Cultural Exchange program. We are proud to share a video created by Welcoming America that highlights one new friendship.

“Stay-at-home mom Becca Clary found common ground with Sudanese refugee Fatima Bakhit through a cultural exchange program at Kentucky Refugee Ministries. Not only has Becca helped Fatima feel welcome in her new home and learn English, she also has gained a friend.

Building a nation of neighbors starts right where you are: in your community, and there are ways you can make a difference, too. Together, let’s build bridges and demonstrate that our differing identities are assets in making our communities and nation stronger.

We may not all share the same history, but we share one future: will you consider volunteering your time or giving resources to your local refugee-serving organizations at this important time?”

Welcoming Refugees

How to Get Involved

In addition to the Adult Cultural Exchange program, KRM offers other volunteer opportunities so you can welcome refugees. If you want to build friendship with refugees, there are opportunities to tutor, mentor, and spend time with kids in school, young adults applying for college, adults finding jobs, and others.

If you prefer behind-the-scenes opportunities, we look for support with events, donation drives, and office help. We also welcome your ideas for how you want to support refugee resettlement in Kentucky.

Thank you for being a part of welcoming refugees and helping families feel that they belong.