Staff


Directors

Francisco Rico-Martinez (1958-2021)
Late Co-Director

Our beloved Co-Director Francisco Rico-Martínez passed away on August 13, 2021. He was a pacifist revolutionary who was a trained lawyer in El Salvador and had a Master’s in Economy from Costa Rica. He was forced to leave his beloved country in 1990 due to his work as a defender of Human Rights during the El Salvadorian Civil war. Francisco came to Canada with his pregnant wife and two children as refugees. As he established himself and his family in Canada, he became painfully aware of the plight of migrants in Canada. With great pride and with the help of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), as well as his adoring wife, they founded what is now known as the FCJ Refugee Centre almost 30 years ago. This gained him many accolades including being the first refugee to be President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a recipient of the YMCA Peace Medallion and the William P. Hubbard Race Relations award. As a committed husband, loving father, and joyous grandfather, Francisco lived to better the lives of everyone he would encounter, specifically those who were marginalized. Francisco was steadfast in the face of injustice making sure that all who could hear him would be aware. An advocate for a just and fair immigration system, he would educate anyone who would hear him on the rights and the plight of migrants, not just in Canada but around the world. Francisco leaves a Legacy of love and hope.

Loly Rico
Director
lolyrico@fcjrefugeecentre.org
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
Interim Director
dianagallego@fcjrefugeecentre.org
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.

Tsering Lhamo
Interim Associate Director

tseringl@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 229

Tsering is a Tibetan Canadian, who came to Canada in early 2000’s as a Refugee. She came to FCJ Refugee Centre as placement student, while pursuing a diploma in Social Service Work. Tsering joined the FCJ Refugee Centre Staff team in March 2018 as Housing Worker, supporting precarious migrants in seeking shelter and secure housing options. She currently works as the Housing and Women’s Program coordinator, and coordinates not only the transitional houses, which provide shelter for precarious migrant women and children fleeing conditions of abuse, but also coordinates all programming for this community. Tsering oversees the weekly food security program, coordinating food hampers to be distributed to more than 1000 community members across Toronto each week.

Natasha Rollings
Interim Associate Director

natasha.rollings@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416 469 9754 ext 228

Natasha is a registered Social Service Worker, with specialization in Immigration and Refugee studies. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Seneca College, she has worked in the fields of music education, and social work. She has also completed Associates Degrees in performance for Violin and Piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has completed several human rights based internships and projects including work in Morocco, Russia, India, Ecuador, Norway & Germany. She worked as the Music Director for the Montessori Academy of London before transitioning to work in the Refugee Settlement sector. She was the Women’s Resilience Program Facilitator for the Cross Cultural Learner Centre in London Ontario, and continued her studies at Seneca College in Toronto in 2016. Natasha first came to FCJ as a placement student in 2017 and has been a member of our staff team since 2018 supporting areas of Youth Programming, Access to Education, Campaigns and Resource Development.


Coordinators

Edgar Valderrama Medina
Refugee Protection

edgar.v.medina@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 223

Carolina Teves
Communication and Public Education

cteves@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 240

Luis Alberto Mata
Anti–Human Trafficking

lmata@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 242

Isabella Eldeib
Anti-Human Trafficking – Women

isabella.eldeib@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Elisa Ibarra
Primary Care Clinic

eli.ibarra@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 230

Alexandra García Hidalgo
Intake and Human Resources

info@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 221

Kanishka Basnayake
Finance and Operations
kanishkab@fcjrefugeecentre.org
416-4699754 ext 241

Victor Ndjemua
Vaccine Engagement

victorndjemua@fcjrefugeecentre.org


Workers

Alma Ulob
Bookkeeper

almadsulob@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Arturo Calleja
Food Security

acalleja@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Dequana Simmonds
Database and Food Security Support

dequana@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Diana Sánchez
Intake Support

diana.sanchez@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Heaven Tessay
Settlement, Immigrant and Refugee Services

htessfay@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Jovana Blangovcanin
Anti-Human Trafficking – Youth

jovanab@fcjrefugeecentre.org

María Alejandra Ramírez
Women’s Program Support

maria.ramirezb@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Melina Caroprezo
Community Support

melina.caroprezo@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Miguel Máiquez
Web Editor and Communication Support

miguelmaiquez@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Renika Maynard
Community Support

renika.maynard@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Victoria Zea
Anti-Human Trafficking – Youth

victoria.zea@fcjrefugeecentre.org


FCJ

Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz
loisannefcj@fcjrefugeecentre.org

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.