Kamal Dhimal

State: North Carolina City of Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina Country of origin: Bhutan Arrival in the U.S.: 2010 Mr. Kamal Dhimal is a Bhutanese refugee who was forced to flee persecution in Bhutan at the age of six after his father was imprisoned and killed. He and his family lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for twenty years before […]

Zeljka Krvavica

State: Iowa Country of Origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina Arrival in the U.S.: 1993 Zeljka Krvavica is the Refugee Congress Delegate from Iowa. She is refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina who was resettled to the United States in 1993. She works as a Refugee Specialist with the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. In addition to her professional work with refugees, Krvavica […]

Valdir Solera

State: Hawaii City of Residence: Wailiku, Hawaii Country of origin: Brazil Arrival in the U.S.: 2013 Mr. Valdir Solera came to the United States from Brazil in 2013. He now lives in Wailiku, Hawaii where he works as a tourist guide and environmentalist. He volunteers every week to protect the endangered green Honu turtles at Ho’okipa Beach and educate tourists […]

Kalisa Ndikumwimana

State: North Dakota City of Residence: Fargo, North Dakota Country of origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo Arrival in the U.S.: 2011 Kalisa Ndikumwimana is the Refugee Congress Delegate for North Dakota. He is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who was resettled in Fargo, North Dakota, in 2011. He lives and works in Fargo as a […]

Natasa Torbica

State: Wisconsin City of Residence: Hales Corners, Wisconsin Country of origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina Arrival in the U.S.: 1998 Ms. Natasa Torbica was resettled to Wisconsin with her husband and children in 1998 after being forced to flee Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s due to the ongoing conflict. She had to send her children to safety in Serbia first, and […]

Martin Ndayisenga

Delegate – New Mexico City of Residence: Albuquerque, New Mexico Country of origin: Burundi Arrival in the U.S.: 2007 Martin Ndayisenga is a Burundian refugee who was resettled to New Mexico with his wife in 2007. He was just ten years old when he was separated from his parents and was forced to flee Burundi to neighboring Tanzania to escape […]

Karna Gurung

Midwest Regional Representative – Board of Directors Delegate – Nebraska Country of origin: Bhutan Arrival in the U.S.: 2009 Mr. Karna Gurung is a refugee from Bhutan who was resettled to the United States in 2009. His family fled Bhutan after the government seized their home and farmland, and tortured his father. He spent nearly 20 years living in a […]

Jihan Daman

State: Michigan Country of origin: Iraq Arrival in the U.S.: 1985 Jihan Daman is the Refugee Congress Delegate for Michigan. She is a resettled refugee who came to the United States from Iraq with her family in 1985. Today, she is founder and president of two social services agencies in Michigan: St. Rita Family Services Inc. and St. Rita Hands […]

George Tarr

Delegate – New York Country of origin: Liberia Arrival in the U.S.: 1999 George Tarr is the Refugee Congress Delegate from New York. He and his family were forced to flee Liberia in 1998 during the brutal civil war. They were at risk of being targeted because of his grandfather’s work as a government official. In 1999, he was resettled […]

Farjam Behnam

State: Virginia Country of origin: Iran Arrival in the U.S.: 2008 Farjam Behnam is the Refugee Congress Delegate from Virginia. He was granted asylum in the United States after fleeing Iran in 2008. In Iran, Behnam was a researcher and editor of the books IranAlmanac and Iran Who’s Who. He also managed a news website and wrote political bulletins that […]

Ekhlas Ismail Ahmed

State: Maine City of Residence: Portland, Maine Country of origin: Sudan Arrival in the U.S.: 2005 Ms. Ekhlas Ahmed was forced to flee the outbreak of civil war in Sudan with her mother, father, and three younger brothers in 2003. Her family was resettled to Portland, Maine, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Sociology from the […]

Biar Atem

State: Nevada Country of origin: South Sudan Arrival in the U.S.: 2001 Biar Atem is the Refugee Congress Delegate for Nevada. He was born in South Sudan and was forced to abandon his family and village when civil war threatened his life. War in South Sudan severed a generation of Lost Boys from their birthplace and their families. At age seven, […]

Clara Hart

State: South Dakota Country of origin: Mozambique Arrival in the U.S.: 1988 Clara Hart fled Mozambique in the 1960s in fear of political persecution. She was resettled to the United States in 1988 and now lives in South Dakota. Hart completed her degree in political science shortly after arrival, and she has taught cultural competency to nursing students for ten […]