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International Council for Refugees and Immigrants

Mon-Friday: 8 AM-5 PM


Dekow is the founder and Executive Director of ICRI. Dekow was born in Somalia and spent his late childhood and early adulthood in the Dadaab refugee camp. He started ICRI to establish a space that pursues creative solutions to address current gaps in service delivery for refugees. He earned his master’s in public administration and business administration from Drake University and a master’s in international human rights from Oxford University.

James received a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University in 2019. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton School of Law in 2023. He has professional experience in wealth management, banking law and higher education ADA compliance. Prior to his studies, James volunteered in Ukraine, assisting orphanages, building, and teaching ESL. He speaks English, Russian, and Ukrainian. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, learning about languages, and golfing.

Rosa has worked in the Immigration Legal Field for 23 years with 13 of those years as a Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited immigration specialist. Rosa has managed immigration programs in the nonprofit and private sectors; served as an AmeriCorps member; founded her own nonprofit; and trained countless individuals to become DOJ accredited immigration specialists. Over her expansive career, Rosa has assisted thousands of refugees and immigrants to become permanent legal residents, U.S. citizens, and to reunite families who fled persecution.

 Lulu-A-Ferdous is a graduate from UNO’s Aviation Institute and was a Research Assistant for their NASA Nebraska Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Lulu interned at GE Capital Aviation Services, Omaha Eppley Airport, was President of Women in Aviation UNO Maverick Chapter, and provided aviation and aeronautics presentations to colleges and universities to promote interest in STEM. Her overseas work experiences include non-governmental organizations advocating for science education for girls and female educators in rural communities. She co-authored a survival Bengali manual for the Peace Corps and translated two Global Behavioral Competency Handbooks for the British Council in Bangladesh.

Abdi has extensive experience working with refugees and immigrant populations; he worked with both national and international organizations in Kenya in different capacities. Prior to ICRI, he served as a bilingual liaison in the public school system. Abdi completed two associate degrees in community health and nutrition and dietetics and a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences and mathematics.  Abdi is now pursuing a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at UNMC and is on the educational pathway to become a physician assistant. 

Samira Sarwary is from Kabul Afghanistan and speaks Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Farsi, and English. Samira has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a wealth of experience in finance, compliance, and management. In her free time, Samira likes reading books, talking with people and making friends. She is passionate about assisting refugees to connect or reconnect with higher education. 

Nyabuay Wuol is from South Sudan and speaks Nuer and English. Inspired by the work of the United Nations, Nyabuay decided to pursue a career in social services. Nyabuay graduated with her Master of Social Work in 2020. During her studies, Nyabuay worked as a case manager in a health program at a refugee resettlement agency. At ICRI, Nyabuay is the Refugee Mental Health and Peer Support Coordinator, working with group and individuals to support positive mental and physical health. 

 Prior to joining ICRI, Patrick spent the majority of his career with nonprofit organizations involved in human services, particularly public health. In this work, he gained experience in areas such as capacity building, systems strengthening, quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation, and operational research. He is passionate about implementing better management practices through continuous quality improvement approach, capacity building and scaling up operations. In his previous roles, he organized and facilitated trainings and mentorship sessions for key staff at various levels. 

Magda is from Sudan and speaks Arabic, Nubian, and English. Magda comes to ICRI with a wealth of knowledge relating to finance, human services, education, and health. Magda is a CNA, she has an associate’s degree in Human Services, a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, and a certificate in early childhood education. Her previous work experience has been in case management, health provision, and child welfare.

Yana is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 2022, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Yana and her family made the decision to relocate to the United States. Yana is a highly accomplished individual with a bachelor’s degree in design. Additionally, she has extensive experience as a social worker. Yana is multilingual, fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

Dina graduated from UNO with a bachelor’s degree in biology and pre-physical therapy. She was a member of the PTK Honor Society. She has prior expertise working with clients who have disabilities and mental health issues at Omni Behavior Health. Her previous work experience has been at the Union Pacific Child Development Center and the Omaha Zoo Education Center. She participated in some voluntary work with refugees and immigrants.  Her long-term objectives are to become a physical therapist. She enjoys spending time with her two cats, family, and friends. Dina speaks Arabic and English.

Olha Savka is from Ukraine and speaks Russian, Ukrainian and English. Olha completed higher education in the field of IT in Ukraine and worked at a bank in IT department for three years before she moved to Poland. Olha arrived at US in 2017 and when the war hit Ukraine, she started to voluntarily help Ukrainians.

Toory Gul is an accomplished business owner. He has thirty years of experience in commerce and business and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Toory speaks Dari, Pashto, Urdu, and Persian. His biggest motivation is to use his business acumen, passion to serve people and the community, as well as his linguistic skills to make a positive change in people’s lives every day. Toory’s greatest satisfaction is to see a joyful smile on the faces of people he serves.



Karishma received her Bachelor of Education in Educational Studies with a minor in Asian Studies and a certificate in Non-Profit/Human Service Management from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio in 2007. She also received her Master of Education in Educational Cultural Foundations from Kent State University in 2010.   In 2019 she received her Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate from The University of Nebraska Omaha. Karishma has taught ESL for Arkansas State University, Learning For All, The University of Nebraska Omaha, and Metro Community College.  Karishma has been in the education, non-profit , NGO and government sectors for the last 12 years. She is passionate about culturally responsive education, parallel and decolonialized ESL.

Ahmad Qarar has more than a decade experience in diplomatic service and has in-depth knowledge and experience of refugees and immigrants’ affairs. Mr. Ahmad has MSc degree in International Affairs and MPhil degree in International Relations. He likes social work and assisting refugees and immigrants in achieving their dreams and making a better future for themselves. He is fluent in Pashto, Dari, Urdu and English

Mohammad Umaid Kakar is from Afghanistan and speaks Dari, Pashto, and English. Mohammad Umaid Kakar arrived under SIV project to the United State of America on November 2022 and is driven to help other arrivals by any means. He accomplished higher education in Pakistan and start building his career in Afghanistan. He has 13 years of working in experience and believes each day is a school day.

Oksana Dekhtiarenko is from Ukraine and speaks English, Ukrainian and Russian. Oksana arrived in the USA through to the Uniting for Ukrainian program in May 2022 and went through all the difficulties associated with adapting to life as an immigrant. She has extensive experience in customer service and account management and is happy to help newly arrived refugees and immigrants to start a new life in Omaha.

Sheeba is from Afghanistan and speaks Pashto, Dari, and English. Before her arrival to the U.S., Sheeba worked at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan as a linguist and also at the Minister of Finance as a Financial Controller. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Mercy Kirui, originally from Kenya, is a multilingual individual proficient in English, Kiswahili, and various Kenyan dialects. She holds an associate degree in science from Metropolitan Community College Omaha and is a Certified Medication Aide. Mercy earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Nebraska Omaha and is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration and healthcare management at UNO.

With over 11 years of experience in healthcare and hospitality, Mercy has a diverse professional background. Prior to joining ICRI, she volunteered with refugees and immigrants at a resettlement organization and contributed to Completely Kids, an after-school program aiding children with homework and school-based gaming skills.

In her free time, Mercy dedicates herself to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, making a positive impact and fostering strong community relations in Omaha, NE. At ICRI, Mercy serves as a Domestic Violence and Prevention Case Manager.

Manizha Ahmadi is from Afghanistan and speaks Persian, Pashto and English.
Manizha graduated from the faculty of Public Policy and Administration in Afghanistan. She has experience working as a reporter. Before coming to the US, she was working in GIZ-Zfd as a trainer and assistant for Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Management. She has a great passion to help people.


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