A refugee resettlement agency in Bowling Green is seeking private funds to educate refugees on reproductive health. There’s been an increase in refugees getting pregnant or needing help locating contraceptive resources and information.
The International Center of Kentucky says its clients need reproductive health education. Executive Director Albert Mbanfu said cultural differences are also contributing to the problem.
Mbanfu, a native of Cameroon, said having a lot of children is considered a blessing in many African cultures. He said it’s a challenge explaining to refugees the difference in how expensive it is to raise children in the U.S. compared to Africa.
“The major challenge we face is the availability of reproductive health entities, like non-profit organizations,” Mbanfu said. “We don’t have a Planned Parenthood. We don’t have clinics that are reproductive health based.”
Mbanfu said resources similar to Planned Parenthood aren’t available in Bowling Green. He said he hopes to find a private organization that will fund a program to educate refugees about family planning and reproductive health.
“Federal funds that we receive are not permitted to be used to talk about women and contraceptives and giving them contraceptives. We cannot use federal funds, that’s why we seek private funds,” Mbanfu said.
He said many local refugees are in need of ongoing resources and reproductive health education.