Friday, December 10, 2010

A Refugee Artist--Kiza Didier Mukandama

Today one of our refugee client's brought a book in with samples of his paintings. We didn't know what to expect, but we were amazed by his powerful paintings. He had beautiful images of African wildlife, people, and nature. Here are some of examples of his paintings and these weren't even my favorites. He is very talented and gifted. These are scans of pictures of his paintings. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to bring any of his work with him. The paintings are mainly oil paintings. We are hoping to connect him with some local organizations or artists that can help cultivate his talent.

Refugee Winter Care Campaign

KRM needs your help to meets its Winter Care Campaign fundraising goals. This year the Lexington office resettled 287 refugees, our busiest year yet! As our refugee arrival numbers continue to rise, so does the financial need. Please help us reach our campaign goal by spreading the word. By visiting this site you can make donations or post information about the campaign on facebook, twitter, or linked-in. For non-facebook users, you can spread the word by email. Please check out information about the Refugee Winter Care Campaign at We appreciate your support!

PS. If anyone donates to the campaign, please add Lexington beside your last name to help us separate the donations from the Louisville fund. Thanks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Winter Happenings

Hello everyone, KRM clients are in need of winter weather clothing items such as coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. Donations would be greatly appreciated. You can drop them by the office located at 1206 N Limestone our hours are 9-4 but we take lunch from 12-1.

Addtionally, KRM is in the process of cordinating the pick up and delivery of Thanksgiving food baskets for our clients. We need drivers and volunteers to help us with this task on Monday November 22nd and Tuesday Novemember 23rd. If you are intrested in volunteering to help out with delivery please email Dabney Parker at

Finally, KRM has once again designed holiday cards which we will be selling at various venues. The cards this year are really amazing. They feature some really nice photos of our refugees. They will be available in two formats one with holdiay message printed on the inside and one that is simply blank on the inside. If you are intersted in our holiday cards contact the office for more information at (859) 226- 5661.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

World of Work--WOW!

Kentucky Refugee Ministries has started new employment classes for refugee clients called World of Work or WOW classes. This an exciting new opportunity for refugees who are so eager to start working. The classes have been meeting for 2 weeks now and clients are learning how to search for jobs and fill out job applications. Future classes will include interview skills, job vocabulary, job retention skills, phone conversation skills, and much, much more!

WOW classes are very interactive and include skits, job modeling, role-playing and job readiness tasks. Each week refugee clients are asked to complete homework assignments and employment tasks. These tasks help clients learn skills and build confidence. In addition to WOW classes, KRM is now offering time in the onsite computer lab to help clients with employment classes.

Our goal is to better equip and prepare refugee clients to find and retain jobs. In this competitve job market, we aim to give them all possible tools and skills to help them succeed.

To organize and provide these classes, KRM needs volunteers to help refugee clients learn these job skills. Our goal is to have one volunteer for every three to five refugee clients per class. This would allow our classes to be interactive and tailored to clients' individual levels. Tasks would include helping clients complete job applications, helping them practice English, and participating in role playing activities. The WOW classes meet on Friday mornings from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the KRM office. There is also a need for volunteers to be available during the computer lab hours on Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 pm to help clients with resumes, applications and job searching. Please contact Dabney at for more information.

It is very rewarding to help a refugee client through the employment process and watch them secure their first job and reach self-sufficiency. Please come and join us in this process!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We're Hiring!!!

Kentucky Refugee Ministries is hiring a part time Special Medical Caseworker

15-20 hours a week
M-F 4 hours a day (flexible depending on availability/appointments)

Volunteer coordination for appointments during unavailable hours
All special medical appointments- taking or coordination of volunteers
SSI disability applications and appointments
Help with other medical appointments as needed
Case notes
Communicate with caseworkers about medical situation
Interpersonal and in office communication
Coordination of interpreters

If interested please contact Barbara Kleine at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Volunteers Needed!

We are in need of ESL tutors for adults and youth. Ideally, tutors will meet with refugee clients once or twice a week to practice English. Adult clients will focus on employment skills and children will focus on school subjects. No previous ESL or teaching experience is necessary to volunteer as an ESL tutor. Working as an ESL tutor is a great way to build relationships with refugees and help them transition into their new life in Lexington. Please email ( or call 226-5661 to make an appt. to fill out a volunteer application.

Friday, June 18, 2010

World Refugee Day

KRM and friends will celebrate World Refugee Day on June 19th at Woodland Park from 12 pm to 3:30 pm. Friends of KRM are invited to come, but we request that each person bring a small dish of food and a chair so that we will have enough food and seats for everyone. There will also be some food provided, music, games, and art projects. We look forward to this fun event and hope you can be a part of the festivities. Here is an article in the Lexington Herald Leader about the event.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We've Moved!

Our office moved from Maxwell St. to the second floor of Arlington Christian Church at the end of May 2010. Our new office space is more spacious and better equipped to deal with our growing number of clients. We now have a waiting area, a conference room, and desks for all of our employees. We're really happy with our new space and excited for everyone to visit us at our new location.

If you need to visit the office, please park behind the church. We now have plenty of parking, Yay! Please enter through the glass double doors and follow the signs up to the second floor. Our phone number has remained the same (859-226-5661). We look forward to continue serving refugees through our new and more spacious office.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Survey about Refugee Services

Dear volunteers or community members working with refugees:

I am a researcher in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, and I study issues related to literacy and English language education for refugees in the U.S. I have worked with refugees for the past seven years, and I am currently conducting a study to explore the educational opportunities (ESL and adult basic literacy courses and programs) available to refugees in the Lexington area. I am particularly interested in the constraints and affordances that may shape how refugees do, or do not, participate in available programs, as well as the types of training and support available for teachers and tutors. I hope that this study’s findings may be useful in understanding ways that our community can work together to provide good support for refugees and those who work with refugees. Your perspective on these issues will be very helpful in this endeavor.

If you would be willing to participate in the study by sharing your perspective, please contact me by email or phone (my contact information is below). I will send you a packet that includes a consent form and a questionnaire, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I also would like to interview some of you to explore this topic and your responses in more depth, but this is optional. On the questionnaire form, there is a place to indicate whether you are willing to have me interview you. In addition, I am also interested in possibly observing some classes or tutoring sessions. Again, these observations are completely optional and voluntary. You can participate in this study by completing the questionnaire only, without participating in the interview or observations, or you can also agree to be interviewed and/or observed.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions at all, or if you would like more information before deciding whether or not to participate in this study, please feel free to contact me.


Kristen H. Perry, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky
341 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0017
Phone: 859-257-3836

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

January is off to a busy start for KRM. We have a large group of new arrivals coming throughout the month (about 30 scheduled so far). It is a bit overwhelming to think about all of our 2010 clients when we have so many without jobs that arrived in 2009. Today I worked on a list of unemployed refugees and it was a long list. Most of these clients are ready and eager to work. They spend their days searching for an appropriate job match for their specific capabilities. We have professional clients with near fluent English (doctors, engineers, a veterinarian, computer tech, teachers, etc.) who need jobs, as well as clients with limited English looking for entry-level positions. There are also several clients who have specific skills (tailor, mason, mechanic, farmer, plumber, etc.).

They say that one of the best ways to find a job is by networking. So, KRM is asking for your help in finding jobs for our clients. If you know of anyone who is hiring, please let us know. If you read about a job in the newspaper or see a "For Hire" sign on a window, please call or email our office. We are interested in all ideas and thoughts about creative and traditional ways to help our clients find jobs and become self-sufficient. They are anxious to start working!

Call or email us about jobs at 226-5661 or

We also want to say thanks to all of the individuals, groups, churches and organizations that donated their time, money, and resources to help refugees in Lexington in 2009. With such a lack of jobs and high levels of unemployed refugees, there is an increased pressure on our office to help meet basic needs. Homelessness is a real threat for refugees and donations help refugees pay rent until they can become self-sufficient. Volunteers, Church Sponsors, and Community Supporters also help refugees meet clothing, educational, job preparation and housing needs. You truly make a difference in the lives of people who have seen extreme hardship. Thank you and we hope you will join us in 2010 to continue providing these necessary services to refugees in Lexington.