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
Executive 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
Senior 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. She is part of the Canadian Council for Refugees as an executive member and is a part time professor in the Centre for Community Services at George Brown College. Diana Joined the FCJ Refugee Centre in 2015 and now is the Senior Director.

Tsering Lhamo
Associate Director – Settlement
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.


Edgar Valderrama Medina
Refugee Protection
416-4699754 ext 223

Carolina Teves
Communication and Public Education
416-4699754 ext 240

Alexandra García Hidalgo
Intake and Human Resources
416-4699754 ext 221

Kanishka Basnayake
Finance and Operations
416-4699754 ext 241


Cagla Azizoglu-Aslan
Resource Development
416 469 9754 ext 228

Jovana Blangovcanin
Anti-Human Trafficking

Daniela Arroyo
Anti-Human Trafficking – Women

Victoria Zea
Anti-Human Trafficking – Youth

Victor Ndjemua
Refugee Housing Project

Cumhur Erdikili
Refugee Housing Project

María Alejandra Ramírez
Housing and Women’s Program

Elisa Ibarra
Primary Care Clinic
416-4699754 ext 230


Alma Ulob

Arturo Calleja
Food Security

Diana Sánchez
Intake Support

Heaven Tessfay
Settlement, Immigrant and Refugee Services

Shadi Shahkhalili
Anti-Human Trafficking – Migrant Case

Miguel Máiquez
Web Editor and Communication Support

Melina Caroprezo
Community Support


Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz

Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz is a member of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, a small international congregation ( 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. She volunteers at FCJ Refugee Centre in the office and one day a week at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre.