STAFF LIST

DEPARTMENT

STAFF

Administration 

Adriana Lilic, Administrative Assistant

Management

Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director
Teresa Dremetsikas, Program Manager
Abdul Abubacar, Settlement Manager
Mbalu Lumor, Manager, Community Engagement

Mental Health

Domine Rutayisire
Alejandra Salgado

Community Engagement

Jennifer Bryant
Sehdeen Lowe
Avril Daley

Settlement

Lucy Kaite Nyarwai, LGBTQ Settlement Counselor
Mildred Fidele, Settlement/Trauma Counselor (Somalian)
Domine Rutayisire, Mental Health Counselor (French/Rwanda/Burundi)
Ezat Mossallanejad, Settlement/Trauma Counselor & Policy Analyst (Farsi/Dari)
Abby (Abigail) Jackman, Child/Youth Counselor (Downtown Office)
Selam Yohannes, Settlement/Trauma Counselor (Amharic/ Tigrigna)
Alejandra Salgado, Mental Health Counselor (French/ Spanish)
Kubra Zaifi,Afghan Settlement Counselor (Dari/ Pashtu/Farsi)
Nadia Umadat, Child/Youth Counselor (Downtown Office)
Luxsiga Ambigaibagan, Trauma Settlement Counsellor (Tamil)
Nisreen Al Khatib, Arabic Settlement Counselor
Samar Ahmed, Arabic Settlement/Trauma Counselor
Sondous Attar, Bilingual Settlement & Trauma Counsellor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Richard Wazana holds an LLB from Osgood Hall Law School, York University, and MSW and a Master’s of Education from the University of Toronto.  He is currently working as an immigration and refugee lawyer. Mr. Wazana brings extensive social policy and social services experience. He was actively involved in the following organizations: Park dale Community Legal services, Kids Help Phone, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Laidlaw Foundation and Family Services Association of Toronto. He is currently the Secretary of the board.

Mohan Doss has a master’s degree specializing in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations. Mohan also serves on the board of the Mennonite New Life Centre. He was Director of Human Resources at Catholic Cross Cultural Centre and is currently working as Director of Programs and Services at Thorncliffe Neighborhood Centre. He is past chair of CCVT board of directors and is currently member of the executive.

Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in Canada by Penguin Canada in 2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller. In 2007, Marina received the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, and in 2008, she received the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy. She was the recipient of the Morris Abram Human Rights Award from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2014. In 2008/2009, she was an Aurea Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she wrote her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, which was published in 2010. Marina regularly speaks at high schools, universities, and conferences around the world and sits on the Board of Directors at CCVT (Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture) and on advisory boards at ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture) and PEN Canada. She has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the School of Continuing Studies at University of Toronto and currently teaches memoir writing at the SCS. In 2014, she was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at the School. Occasionally, she writes book reviews and opinion pieces for the Globe and Mail and is a regular contributor to the Oslo Freedom Forum the world. Currently the board vice chair.

Fatoumata ( Fanta) Ongoiba :  is the Executive Director of African in Partnership against        Aids. She is is a leader in the African community, a member of Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS, and African/ Carribean Council on HIV/AIDS.  She holds Master’s in Cooperative Business Development and management, Masters in Business Administration and PhD in Economics. Currently the board chair.

Adriana Salazar is the Food Security Project Manager at the Working Women Community Centre in Toronto. She has been working in social justice and human rights for over 30 years, first in Colombia and now in Canada. Her work includes over 12 years of direct engagement with immigrant communities in Toronto around topics of economic, social and civic inclusion. Adriana has led three Participatory Action Research projects investigating access to fair and meaningful employment for newcomers, and exploring the civic and political participation of immigrant communities. She has worked on empowering recent immigrants to share their stories through initiatives such as the Newcomer Advocacy Committee, Newcomers Speakers Bureau and New Voices Newsletter. Since 2015, she is also part of the steering committee of the Righting Relations Adult Education for Social Change Network, a women-led, pan-Canadian learning community of popular educators and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. Adriana has a degree in social psychology from Javeriana University (Colombia). She is also a graduate of the International Project Management program at Humber College, and the Community Economic Development Program at Concordia University.

Branka Agic is the Manager of Health Equity at CAMH and Deputy Director of the        Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies, School of Graduate Studies, and University of Toronto. Branka received a Master’s degree in Health Science in Health Promotion with the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies from the University of Toronto, and a medical degree from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. She successfully completed her PD in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in 2014.  Branka has extensive experience working with immigrants and refugees. Her main areas of interest include social determinants of immigrant and refugee mental health and access to services.

Seble Makonnen works as a policy analyst and justice lead at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division.  She worked as a criminal lawyer for almost ten years after her call to the Ontario Bar in 2005, doing primarily Legal Aid work and working as Duty Counsel, assisting marginalized groups and people in need.

Kemi Jacobs is Executive Director of Delta Family Resource Centre and has also been director of property management at one of the largest social housing companies in North America, with a focus on quality housing, the engagement of tenants and building a healthy organization.  In her work in the west of Toronto, her team is focusing on capacity-building, good customer service, clean buildings and a strong operational performance.
Prior to this post, Kemi lead the Children and Youth Section at TCHC.  Under her leadership, there was a total re-orientation of the dept. as the focus changed to youth development approaches and on the integration of an anti-oppression framework into work with children and youth.  Programs centered on employment and finding opportunities for young people to succeed and shine.  Highlights have included innovative initiatives such as the Leadership series for approximately 300 youth from across the City, a Zine, Youth In Power youth group, increasing youth involvement in TCHC’s Tenant Participation System, an Economic Opportunities forum and on developing strategic partnerships with employment agencies that led to jobs for 400 youth in the summer of 2006, as well as with the Ontario Justice Education Network.  With over 20 years of community involvement, Kemi is a past President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, former executive director of Culture Link Settlement Services and a past chairperson of the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada.

Teonest Kabanda ( CPA,CGA,MBA) is a Chartered professional Accountant, (CPA,CGA) member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) and allied member of Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) and has MBA from Laurentian University.  He was Manager, Finance and Administration with Sojourn House. He currently is the Director of Finance and Administration at Black Creek Community Health Centre. Currently the treasurer of the board.

Carolyn Filteau holds a Phd from Osgoode Law School, York University and an LLM from Osgoode Law School specializing in Dispute Resolution.  She worked for the Council of Ontario Universities for 25 years assisting in and coordinating the review of all of the graduate programs in Ontario universities.  Dr. Filteau has also worked as an Academic Integrity Officer, facilitating discussions between faculty and students on matters of academic misconduct.  She also worked as an Academic Planning consultant assisting in the development and coordination of the Five Year Plan for Ryerson University.  She has recently done volunteer work and research for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), Canadian Centre for Men and Families, 416 Drop in Centre for Women, and the International Committee of the YWCA.  Dr. Filteau brings extensive research, publication and administrative experience to CCVT.

Fiona C. Thomas is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at Ryerson University and with many years of research experience. Fiona’s academic interests are in cross-cultural mental health, including the adaptation, delivery, and evaluation of mental health interventions for individuals often overlooked by mainstream mental health services. Fiona has worked with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long- Term Care (MoHLTC) 10-year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy (Strategy). She worked hands on in supporting the development of the Strategy with the MoHLTC. She then worked with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on the implementation and evaluation of one of the Strategy’s provincial initiatives. The experience of working on a provincial policy, from creation through to implementation and evaluation helped Fiona further understand the complexities between applied research and policy, and evidence based clinical services for patients. She is currently a member of the Community- Engaged Research on Culture & Health Lab at Ryerson University, under the supervision of Dr. Kelly McShane. In addition to her doctoral research in Sri Lanka, Fiona remains actively involved in supporting newcomer populations settle in the Toronto area.

Jehan Teja Born in Toronto to first-generation East African Indian immigrant parents, and grew up very aware of the challenges around resettlement in a new country. Since her early teens, she has volunteered in many capacities with the Shia Ismaili Muslim institutions, including extensive work with youth from families that had recently fled Central Asia (Afghanistan in particular.) She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science, and a Master’s degree in Economics, both from McMaster University. For four years she was a capital planner with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, but in early 2014 she left this position to pursue her current endeavours as the owner and artist behind Azki Jewelry, through which she designs and creates ethical jewelry and fashion accessories. Most recently her work has become a permanent feature at the Aga Khan Museum shop.