Francisco Rico-Martinez, Co-Director
416-4699754 ext 227
Born in El Salvador, Francisco came to Canada in 1990 with Loly, his wife, and their two children. Soon after their arrival, their third child was born. Formally trained as a lawyer and economist, Francisco has been committed to issues of social justice for as long as he can remember. Starting with work in human rights in El Salvador, then solidarity work in Europe, and now work in the field of Refugee Rights in Canada. He is past president of the Canadian Council for Refugees, and has been recognized for his work with the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award of the City of Toronto and the YMCA Peace Medallion.
Loly Rico, Co-Director
416-4699754 ext 224
Loly, formally trained as a physiotherapist, started working with Down Syndrome children in El Salvador, becoming aware of how their human rights were abused, and how the tremendous needs of these children were not addressed by the government. Later on, she became more deeply involved in social justice in El Salvador. Upon arrival in Canada, through her own experience as a refugee she became acutely aware of the situation of refugees in this part of the world. In 1991, she and Francisco founded the FCJ Hamilton House Refugee Project, with the invaluable support of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus. Loly has a deep understanding of what is involved in setting up a safe environment for a vulnerable group, one that invites them to rebuild a sense of self, and gives them tools to regain lost confidence. She is currently Co-Director of the Centre, and head of the settlement services programme. In 2004, the City of Toronto awarded her the Constance E. Hamilton Award, for her unflinching commitment and contribution to women’s rights and social justice. She also received the YMCA Peace Medallion.
Diana Gallego, Associate Director
416-4699754 ext 225
Diana Gallego is a Colombian-trained lawyer, with experience in advocacy, human rights and social justice. In 2002, Diana was forced to flee Colombia with her husband and son. This experience shaped a new commitment and led her into working with immigrants and refugees. Diana graduated in Community Work from George Brown College in Toronto.
Carolina Teves, Communication and Networking Coordinator
416-4699754 ext 240
Carolina earned two bachelors’ degrees from Universidad Centroamericana Jose Simeon Cañas (San Salvador) in Education and Journalism. She began work as a teacher of literature in high school. While teaching she began her Journalism degree and her involvement with the university radio station YSUCA. On completion of her degree in Journalism, Carolina committed herself to a career in that field and began work as a journalist with YSUCA. Her work focussed on human rights and Carolina worked at the radio station for over ten years. She continued working at the radio station and also took on a teaching position in 1999 at Universidad Centro Americana to teach radio production: writing, editing etc. In the fall of 2001, Carolina came to Canada from El Salvador with her husband and three children.
Kanishka Basnayake, Finance and Operations Coordinator
416-4699754 ext 241
Kanishka began her career in the Accounting field soon after completing high school. She completed the Accounting Technicians Diploma and obtained Life membership of the Association and Licentiate level and Professional part I exams conducted by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. During her studies, she joined Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants Firm and completed 5 years of practical training in various industry sectors. In 1996, she joined ABN AMRO Bank as the Assistant Internal Auditor. After 5 years of service, Kanishka left the bank to take care of her twin daughters, but became a self- employed business woman and involved herself in the accounting field in her spare time. Together with her family, Kanishka migrated to Canada in 2009 and completed Accounting and payroll administrator diploma at Everest College in 2010 and obtained the Payroll Compliance Practitioner Certification from Canadian Payroll Association. She joined FCJ Refugee Centre in December 2011, after completing some volunteer and contract work in Canada.
Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz, FCJ
Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz is a member of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, a small international congregation (www.fcjsisters.org). She has had a variety of assignments in her life, including teaching, missionary in Sierra Leone for 10 years, social justice ministry including work with refugees in Calgary and in Toronto. In Sierra Leone, Lois Anne was a facilitator for a development education program used extensively in Africa. Sr. Lois Anne joined the FCJ Refugee Centre in 1996, working with Francisco in organizing workshops, producing manuals, updating website, etc. Presently she is President of the Board of Directors and volunteers one day a week at the Refugee Centre and one day a week at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre.
Luis Alberto Mata, Anti–Human Trafficking Program Coordinator
416-4699754 ext 242
Luis Alberto Mata is a Colombian refugee, trained in human rights, and in immigration & refugee issues. Luis currently works at the FCJ Refugee Centre as Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator, coordinating the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network, and the FCJ Migrant Workers Mobile Program. In Colombia Luis worked with urban and rural communities, including forced displaced people, reported on human rights abuses, also on the five-decade civil war in his country. Luis has lectured on globalization, social justice & human rights, and has published two books. One is about the links between the origins of the insurgency and poverty, isolation and violence against rural communities in Colombia, and the second is on the Genocide Against the Patriotic Union. In Canada Luis has worked with grassroots organizations.
Marcus Padilha, Migrant Case Worker
416-4699754 ext 226
Tsering Lhamo, Housing and Women’s Program Coordinator
416-4699754 ext 229
Natasha Rollings, Access to Education and Youth Coordinator
416 469 9754 ext 228
Eli Ibarra, Health and Well-Being Worker
416-4699754 ext 230
Alexandra Garcia Hidalgo, Intake & HR Support Worker
416-4699754 ext 221
Natalie Gardiner, Anti-Human Trafficking Youth Worker
416-4699754 ext 224
Edgar Valderrama Medina, Refugee Support Worker
416-4699754 ext 223
Tinbit Eyasu, Coordinator of the Food and Income Security Program
416-4699754 ext 222
416-4699754 ext 231
Maria Alejandra Ramirez Bolanos
416-4699754 ext 222
416-4699754 ext 224