Afghan couple is first to resettle in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- “Today is a wonderful day, a great day, a beautiful day. I’m so excited to receive this first family and many families that are coming,” said Albert Mbanfu, executive director of the International Center of Kentucky. 

The first two refugees have arrived in Bowling Green. Mbanfu can’t contain his excitement.

The executive director held a sign with the couple’s last name on it to find them.

“We are happy they are here, welcoming them here and we just hope that they will have a wonderful experience in Bowling Green, a city of hospitality, a city that welcomes and a city that loves,” said Mbanfu. 

The refugee pair, a 33-year-old man and 23-year-old woman, landed at 4:36pm. They successfully navigated through the airport, albeit not speaking English.

Mbanfu says refugees are able to come to the U.S. if they either worked for the U.S. military, U.S. nongovernmental organization or they are activists promoting human rights or democracy.

“You have to understand that these people helped us when we were chasing down terrorists in Afghanistan and now that the country is inhabitable for them it’s justice and the right thing to do to bring them here to safety,” said Mbanfu.

Mbanfu says he is picking up a family of ten refugees from the airport Friday, and two more on Sunday. 200 will be resettled in Bowling Green by March 21, 2022.