BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Imagine…having to flee your home country for your safety and when you finally arrive somewhere safe…you don’t speak the language.
“Our country is neither good nor safe, that’s why we came here,” said Sian Thang, a refugee from Myanmar.
This is the experience of many refugees who now live in Bowling Green.
To help them successfully transition into their new life… Refugee Hope offers English lessons twice a week.
“We know that when refugees, migrants, come to our state and to our country, there is a wide variety of physical needs and one of the biggest physical needs we hear about is education in English,” said said Director of Education Derek Logsdon.
Learning English provides a variety of benefits for refugees, from finding a job to understanding necessary processes like taxes.
A student arrived here in February from Afghanistan. A doctor in her home country, she says she knows a little English but wants to be fluent to further her career.
“First of all you get a job, you want to stand up and support your family. And then the other part is to know and communicate and talk and learn about the culture and customs of the American peoples and find our way,” said Atifa Kabuli, the refugee from Afghanistan.
Thang does not know much English yet, but hopes to understand quickly.
“I would like to speak and improve my English skills because I live here, I need a job and to communicate,” Thang said.
Staff hope the classes will improve all aspects of the refugees’ lives.
“I think the root of that is confidence so they can go to a grocery store or their kids’ school and talk to their teacher because they have the confidence to do that and a background in English” , Logsdon said.
Morning classes are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 601 Graham Drive and evening classes are from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bowling Green Learning Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.