Staff List

Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director

Adriana Lilic, Executive Assistant / Office Manager

Elena Sen, Finance Manager, Downtown

Karen Van Stiphout, Human Resource Manager, Downtown

Mbalu Lumor, Senior Manager, Programs and Newcomer Service

Elena Soto-Chico, Settlement Manager – Downtown/Mississauga

Huda Bukhari, Community Engagement/Settlement Manager, Scarborough

Teresa Dremetsikas, Program Manager, Downtown

Nadia Umadat, Toronto South LIP Manager

Sunbal Mohammad, Child & Youth/Community Engagement Manager

Domine Rutayisire –  Mental Health Counselor (French/Rwanda/Burundi) (Mississauga/Downtown)

Saimah Rahman, Youth Mental Heath Counselor (Scarborough)

Virginia David, Mental Health Counselor (Downtown)

Kiana Sarmadi  Administrative Assistant (Downtown)


Juliette Ntege, Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant (Scarborough)

Farah Noori, Community Engagement Worker (Downtown)

Ana Ulloa, Settlement Counselor (Spanish), (Scarborough)

Ezat Mossallanejad, Settlement Counselor & Policy Analyst (Farsi/Dari) (Downtown/Scarborough/HUB)

Kubra Zaifi, Settlement Counselor (Dari/Pashtu/Farsi) (Downtown)

Liudmyla Khodakkovska, Settlement & Trauma Counselor (Ukrainian) (Mississauga)

Meziyah West, Youth Mentorship Facilitator (Scarborough, Downtown)

Mildred Fidele, Settlement Counselor (Somali) (Scarborough)

Nisreen Al Khatib, Settlement Counselor (Arabic)/Youth Mentorship Facilitator (Arabic) (Scarborough)

Rahel Gebrechristos, Settlement/Trauma Counselor – Women  (Amharic, Tigrinya) (Downtown)

Rigbe Tsige, Settlement Counselor (Amharic/Tigrinya) (Downtown) 

Saimah Rahman, Youth Mental Health Counselor (Bengali) (Scarborough)

Samar Ahmed, Settlement Counselor (Arabic)  (HUB/Scarborough) 

Tigist Workneh, Youth Counselor/Youth Mentorship Facilitator (Amharic) (Downtown)

Zastid Perea, Child & Youth Counselor (Spanish) (Downtown)

Alia Khan, LINC Relief Instructor

Andrea Dzamarija – LINC Level 1-2

David Burt – P/T LINC Level 3-4

Isaac Wood –  LINC Level 5-6

Muhammad Awan, LINC Relief Instructor 

Elena Solokhina – Employment Services & Skills Instructor/Admin


Fatoumata (Fanta) Ongoiba is the Executive Director of Africans in Partnership Against Aids. She is a leader in the African community and a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS and the African/ Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS.  She holds a Masters in Cooperative Business Development and Management, a Masters in Business Administration, and a PhD in Economics.

Richard Wazana holds an LLB from Osgood Hall Law School, York University, and MSW and a Masters 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: Parkdale 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 chair of the board.

Dr. Branka Agic is Director of Knowledge Exchange with the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Master of Science in Community Health (MSCHS) in Addiction and Mental Health Program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Branka holds PHD in Health and Behavioral Sciences along with a Medical Degree from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branka has extensive experience in counselling, research and service development with immigrants and refugees. Her primary research interest is in the area of mental health and substance use among immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups.

Monika Franklin has been involved in newcomer and settlement issues for many years. She is a lawyer and worked for more than 20 years in the Ontario legal clinic system, most recently as staff lawyer and social assistance team lead at Flemingdon Community Legal Services in the Thorncliffe Park area of Toronto. She provided services to low income, vulnerable and marginalized populations, particularly on social assistance/disability, human rights, housing and immigration issues. She is currently on the Board of MCIS Language Solutions, which provides interpreters to many courts, tribunals, hospitals and legal clinics and also trains newcomers to work as interpreters. She was on the Board of CCVT between 1998 and 2001 and looks forward to the opportunity to renew her acquaintance with CCVT staff, clients and programs.

Wajeeha Rafat is a passionate finance professional, has a splendid career of over 15 years in Finance, Audit and Consulting across large global companies such as Ernst & Young, Siemens, Royal Bank of Canada. She is CPA (Canada), CMA (UK) and SAP CO Certified (Germany) and has a Bachelors in Commerce and Masters in Economics degrees. She started her career with Ernst & Young, conducted external audit of clients in multiple industries including non-profit organizations. She was able to get her first job in the Canada with Scotia Bank as a Manager Reporting and Analysis and thereafter served Royal Bank of Canada for over 3 years as Manager Financial and Regulatory Reporting. She took active part in various volunteering activities hosted by or sponsored by RBC. Recently she raised funds for RBC Race for the Kids and was recognized as the top 10 fund raisers of the CFO Group. Wajeeha is very passionate about volunteering, has been associated with CCVT for almost five years.

Kemi Jacobs is Executive Director of the 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. Previously 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 anti-oppression framework into work with children and youth. 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 past chairperson of the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada.

Dr. Carolyn Filteau recently completed a PHD at Osgoode Law School in Toronto, Canada. Her PHD thesis title is “Rights and Responsibilities: What are the Prospects for R2P in the International/Transnational Arena?” She also holds an LLM in Law specializing in Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Laws School and BA/MA in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She taught Conflict Resolution at Seneca College in Toronto and Negotiation at the Life Institute, Ryerson University.  Her research interests include international law, humanitarian intervention legal theory, global conflict, the responsibility to protect, global governance, nongovernmental organizations and conflict resolution. She has presented papers at International conferences and published in conference proceedings and journals. She is currently Secretary of the Board of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.

Dr. Jaswant Kaur Bajwa is a Professor and Research Coordinator in the Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies (CPLS) at George Brown College.  In her work as academician, clinician, anti-violence advocate, and community researcher she uses an intersectional lens and is passionate about the use of education as a tool for social change and empowerment. Both her research and practice since the early 1990s have focused on the impact of violence and mental health issues on learning and the educational changes (both at micro and systemic levels) that need to be made in order to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment for students. She has worked with students with histories of violence, refugees, people marginalized as a result of mental health issues and other systemic barriers. In her role, she provides leadership to staff and students and is responsible for the development of the research capacity within the division. She leads number of research projects at the college. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology with the focus on psychological burnout in caring professionals.

DrHaleh Doulatyari Azar is a physician, currently practising Family medicine, Psychotherapy and counselling. She also is president of Canadian-Iranian Medical Association.In regards to administrative experience, she acted as provincial Chief of family health in Iran and as Vice President of medical services and Chief Medical Officer, in Northern Region of Manitoba.

(she/her) is a registered nurse at Covenant House, working with youth experiencing homelessness, survivors of human trafficking and newcomers. She is passionate about street nursing and community health, and this has led Medina to pursue a Master of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In addition to her nursing practice and graduate studies, Medina serves on the Board of Directors at Birth Mark, a non-for-profit agency providing doula support and advocacy of reproductive rights for low-income womxn and families. Medina is also an Advisory Board member at Canadian Voices Against Racism. On her time off, Medina is a member and Soprano in the Toronto Choral Society. Medina is a settler and first generation Canadian, born to immigrant parents from Kenya and part of the Ismaili Shia Muslim community.

LLB. LLM. Dip. LP., is a lawyer called to the Bar Societies of Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Manitoba. She has over 15 years work experience combining family and criminal law, policy development on diversity, equity, equality and human rights issues.  In her career, as a lawyer, Estella has supported challenges to section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms at the Court at the Court Challenges Program of Canada; established the first legal aid clinic in the Mackenzie Delta Region, Northwest Territories; fought for the rights of racialized and indigenous communities, and women and children, at the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada and the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, respectively. Estella has been instrumental in starting projects that empower youth, women, the disabled, Indigenous and racialized communities.  Estella is a mediator and facilitator; and she has made presentations on human rights issues to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on several occasions, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and many national and international conferences.

has volunteered with CCVT since 2017. He recently completed his PhD in International Relations from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the author of two books and one forthcoming on Jewish religious perspectives on trauma. He is presently an interviewer on the podcast New Books in Israel Studies. He is actively interested in history and literature, and enjoys cooking in his spare time. He lives in Thornhill, with his family.

is a retired health professional who graduated from the Master of Health Science program of the University of Toronto.  She also has a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Karachi.  She is a founding member of Across Boundaries, an ethno-racial mental health centre, and has extensive experience in community health, human rights, administration, policy and planning.



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Toronto, ON
M5B 2B7

Public Education & Newsletters

Volunteers deliver presentations and workshops, help out at career/volunteer fairs, and attend other events to increase CCVT’s visibility.

Find the Connections – the Volunteer Newsletter
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