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International Council for Refugees and Immigrants

Mon-Friday: 8 AM-5 PM

Staff

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.

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.

Marni has worked in refugee resettlement and immigrant programming for nearly a decade across the state of Nebraska. Marni brings rich experience in federal program compliance, community outreach and partnerships, and building collaborative, sustainable teams. Previous to her work in resettlement, Marni served in AmeriCorps and Lutheran Volunteer Corps as a grant writer and community outreach specialist. 

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. 

Lulu-A-Ferdous worked as Director of Operations and Refugee Program Coordinator at the Intercultural Senior Center. She 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.

Lacey has a decade of youth advocacy experience both locally and abroad. She worked in the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Fiji and then came back to Nebraska to work with at-risk youth at Boys Town. She also worked at a resettlement agency in Omaha organizing youth mentoring for refugee students. Lacey has a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in Latin American studies and Spanish from Nebraska Wesleyan University. 

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. 

 Chris has been involved in social work since 2010, both in Thailand and in Nebraska where he first worked as a case manager at a local resettlement agency. While there, Chris was promoted to Employment Coordinator, managing two federal employment programs. Chris is passionate about helping others connect to community services in order to strengthen families. In his free time, Chris loves to sing, drive, and work on cars.  

Ram Khatri is a from Nepal and speaks Nepali and English. Ram has been a case manager at ICRI since the organization started in 2019. His previous experience is in human services for his community and business ownership. Ram loves to help others and is a tireless problem solver. 

Aruna is from Pokhara, Nepal and speaks Nepali and English. Aruna has over ten years of case management and community education experience; she previously worked as an AmeriCorps member and case manager at two local nonprofits in Omaha. In addition to case management, Aruna has worked in youth advocacy, financial literacy, and immigration law support. In her free time, Aruna likes photography, cooking, and spending time with her children. 

Mary is from Shan State in Burma and speaks Burmese, Kachin, and English. She graduated with an associate degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and went on to work as a director at a women’s organization in Thailand. After coming to the U.S., Mary worked in the AmeriCorps program at a local nonprofit where she gained six more years of case management experience with immigrants and refugees in Nebraska.  Mary enjoys fishing, Korean movies, and sweets. 

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.

Nadira is from Afghanistan and speaks Dari, Persian, Pashto, English and conversational Bahasa. Nadira completed her certificate and nursing and served as a nurse for two years at Al-Zahra Hospital in Kabul before becoming an interpreter for IOM for five years. Nadira has worked in broadcasting and trained in Tae Kwon Do for four years.

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.

 

Mujtaba Karimi is 27 years old, he worked as a political assistant to the former president of Afghanistan. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Kabul University from the Department of Sociology and Philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts from Gawharshad University with a major in Law. He has a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Khatam Al-Nabieen University. He taught at some universities at Kabul and speaks Dari, Pashto, and English.

 

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 is a 2.5  generation South Indian American. A 4th generation Canadian and 5th generation German American whose family all settled in Omaha and Nebraska before they became citizens.  She 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 in 2019 from The University of Nebraska Omaha.  Karishma has been in the education, non-profit , NGO and government sectors for the last 12 years.

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