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Our Team

Farah Aw-Osman

Executive Director

Farah Aw-Osman has over 30 years of community work experience. He is a founding member of the Somali Centre for Family Services in Ottawa. A former employee of Jewish Family Services, Canadian Friends of Somalia and Dr. Ummad Foundation. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Centre for Resilience and Social Development (CRSD). 

Farah has worked extensively to help the Refugees and Immigrant Communities in Canada and abroad tackle issues relating to youth justice, radicalization, employment, mental health and addictions, anti-racism, settlement &integration as well as civic and diaspora engagements

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Mandi Pekan

Clinical Manager

Mandi Pekan is a Registered Psychotherapist, educator, and trauma trainer with over 15 years of experience in community development. In her executive role at the CRSD, she coordinates mental health, advocacy, and justice services. Her work is grounded in an embodied social justice approach that addresses the systemic, relational, cultural, and political effects of trauma and healing. Mandi is dedicated to advocating for systemic change by promoting community-based alternatives to youth criminalization and incarceration. As a trauma trainer and educator, she has played a pivotal role in nurturing a new generation of trauma-informed changemakers committed to healing and equity. Her approach is deeply Polyvagal-informed, recognizing the profound impact of the Polyvagal Theory on understanding and addressing trauma.

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Fartun Farah

Parent Engagement Manager

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Peilla Ishimwe

Clinical Social Work - Team Lead

Peilla Ishimwe is a clinical social worker with a bachelor's and master's degree in Social Work. She was born and raised in Burundi, East Africa and recently relocated to Canada. She is passionate about facilitating the integration and adaptation of immigrants and refugees as well as providing them with tools to overcome challenges during the settlement process. She has extensive experience working with immigrants and refugees, survivors and victims of domestic violence, and women experiencing homelessness. She works as a clinical social worker at the Centre for Resilience and Social Development, where she addresses the mental health needs and challenges of Black youth in the Ottawa School District through a holistic and trauma-informed approach. 

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Mariam Salad

Youth Outreach & Justice - Team Lead

Mariam studied at the Univeristy of Victoria where she received her degree of Bachelors of Child Youth Care (BCYC). Mariam worked as an Education Assistant for a few years where she gained experienced working with children and youth with disabilities and neurodiversity. She has a passion supporting young people and families impacted by systemic barriers, specifically the criminal legal system. 

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Salma Hammoud

Youth Outreach - Team Lead

Salma is a youth and family worker. She has experience working with youth programs, settlement and integration, education systems and non profit organziations. She graduated with a Master in Migration and Diaspora Studies and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a Major in Criminology. She is passionate about issues of social justice in education and advocates for equity in education. Throughout her Masters and work as a settlement worker, her work was focused on the gaps faced by newcomer students and families within the school systems. She is passionate about advocating for newcomers and refugees and providing accessible resources to help them navigate their new lives.

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Sarah Yassin

Clinical Social Worker

Sarah Yassin is a clinical Social Worker at the Center of Resilience and Social Development (CRSD). She is a registered member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of ethical and evidence-based practice. Sarah has acquired a Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University in February 2020. She has a deep passion for promoting mental health and social well-being and has committed her career to helping individuals and families navigate various challenges. She is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their concerns, identify coping strategies, and work towards positive change."

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Ifrah Kabadeh

Youth & Justice Outreach Worker

Ifrah is a Community and Justice Service Worker with over 7 years of experience advocating and implementing programs that support people and communities through transitional and pivotal phases of life. Prior to joining the team at CRSD, Ifrah worked in a variety of roles in thenon-profit sector including as a caseworker, supporting young men and women with addictions, mental health disorders and navigating the criminal justice system. Ifrah is passionate aboutcreating safe spaces for young people to grow, build a positive sense of self and develop life skills using a trauma-informed approach. Ifrah looks forward to continuing to promote healing, expression, and culture through a therapeutic approach.

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Abdulasis Mubarak

Youth Outreach Worker

Abdulasis Mubarak, a YOW from the CRSD. He’s always had an innate desire to help others and to make a difference in peoples lives. This deep rooted passion is what drew him into the field of social work and allow him to fulfill those desires. It brings him great joy to the see improvement in people so lives no matter the size.

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Gloria Mianiste

Youth & Justice Outreach Worker

Gloria Mianitse is a YOW with a bachelor’s in Human rights and Social Justice. She was born in Congo, raised in Uganda, and immigrated to Canada in 2017. She is dedicated to making a positive impact. With an understanding of social services and a particular interest in children’s rights, Gloria strives to empower and advocate for individuals in need.  She brings a strong academic foundation and passion for advocating for the well-being and protection of youths and marginalized communities. As an outreach worker, she is committed to ensuring that the rights of every child are upheld, fighting for justice and that they have access to the resources and support they need to thrive. Let's work together to create a brighter future for the next generation

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Jibril Ngaido

Technical Outreach Specialist

Jibril works with the CRSD as a technical outreach specialist. He leverages technical issues to engage, inform, and establish rapport with target audiences or groups. With a focus on computer science, he is pursuing a degree in cognitive science with a concentration in computer science. His affinity for technology enables him to assist people in a manner that best fits his needs. Jibril's vast expertise in the sector has allowed him to have a profound understanding of the nuances of social work. His dedication and commitment are motivated by his unrelenting enthusiasm for helping people and bringing about positive change in communities.

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Christopher Ibrahim

Youth Outreach Worker

Christopher is a YOW with lots of experience in the field of social work. Having been born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario in an immigrant household Christopher has a good grasp of the social lifestyles
for teenage minorities growing up in the city. He has worked and volunteered in notable communities in Ottawa, the most notable experience being Debra Dynes. Having worked in the community and with the children and adults in the
neighborhood, he developed a passion for helping people who are currently in a struggle of their own and joined the team at CRSD with hopes to guide as many children and teens as possible to a better, happier life, and hoping to change the communities in Ottawa suffering from violence, poverty or an unfair system placed upon them.

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Yassin Samatar

Youth Outreach Worker

Yassin Samatar is a YOW at the Centre for Resilience & Social Development (CRSD). As part of his work with the Rajo Project, he is committed to providing programs that promote healthy living in order to achieve healthy communities. Ultimately his goal is to encourage marginalized youth to tap into their hidden strengths and potentials. He is currently pursuing his psychology degree at Carleton University, Ottawa.


Manal Elwan

Registered Psychotherapist (Q)

Manal is a Certified psychotherapist (Q) specializing in mental health. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults. Her work experience and training focused on racialized discrimination, Human trafficking,  crisis intervention, trauma-focused therapy, domestic violence victims, addiction and homelessness, acculturation, integration, and struggles facing newcomers to Canada. Manal has experience helping individuals manage low motivation, anxiety, social-emotional difficulties, body image issues, depressive symptoms, stress and much more.  She believes in an individualized and collaborative approach where individuals have the opportunity to actively engage and reflect on their goals. Manal is a member of the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO)


Faith Mottahedi

Registered Psychotherapist (Q)

Faith Mottahedi's clinical work is a unique blend of various therapeutic modalities, carefully tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. At the core of her practice is a person-centered approach to therapy, enhanced by elements of psychodynamic theory, childhood attachment, poly-vagal somatic theory, and dialectical behavioral therapy. This eclectic mix aids in the healing process of her clients. When working with youth, Faith particularly enjoys incorporating creative arts and hip hop/rap music therapy into her sessions. Her practice is grounded in a trauma-informed, strengths-based, and anti-oppressive framework, reflecting her deep understanding and empathy towards the challenges faced by new immigrants and people of color in Canada. This understanding stems from her personal background as a child of refugee parents. Faith’s experience is diverse, encompassing work with children, adults, couples, and families. She has also actively participated in community empowerment programs for youth and young adults in Ottawa, demonstrating her commitment to social betterment. Academically, Faith holds a BSc in Health Science and a MA in Psychotherapy, Counselling and Spirituality with a specialization in Couples and Family Counselling from Saint Paul University. She is currently advancing her studies by pursuing a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Research, focusing her project on youth homelessness prevention, interventions, and increasing access to justice for other vulnerable populations.

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Ihsan El Batal

EYTE Program Coordinator

 Ihsan brings a wealth of expertise to our team, drawing from a background in career recruitment and banking, coupled with a dedicated commitment to fostering inclusivity within diverse communities. In his role as a program coordinator, he guides and mentors participants through their employment journey, ensuring a work environment that is both fair and conducive to growth. Beyond his professional endeavors at EYTE, Ihsan values familial moments as a dedicated father and pursues fitness, with a particular passion for basketball.

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Sumaya Farah

EYTE Program Assistant

Sumaya is a dedicated Program Assistant at Empowering Youth Through Employment (EYTE), a Canadian Federal government-funded program with a  mission to empower youths on their journey to success. With a deep passion for helping others, Sumaya embodies the core values of EYTE, which emphasize equal opportunities for all young people, regardless of their background. When she's not contributing her time and skills to EYTE, Sumaya enjoys spending her days going for long walks and experimenting with a variety of dishes in the kitchen. Her commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of youth aligns perfectly with the program's mission of ensuring that every young person, including Indigenous and minority youth, has the chance to secure meaningful employment and build a brighter future.

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