who we are

About Us

We are a group of students and professionals who have worked together to build an organization imploring youth to work with the community to help strengthen the refugee and immigrant population through unity and integration.

Founded in December 2015, we embarked on a journey to re-establish the way nonprofits work, and to strengthen the communities they are involved with. We believe that modern day obstacles and problems need modern day solutions, thus the creation of The Refugee Centre and its sister NPO DevBloc.


  1. To provide a sustainable structure of integration for refugees and immigrants in Canada.
  2. Offering support for students and their families as well as the Montreal community as a whole.
  3. Supporting the community and particularly students through various mediums, not limited to any one particular sector of aid.


  1. Provide resources for displaced refugees to access, a place of habitation, access to education, and the right of immigration according to Canadian Law.
  2. Develop policy both domestically and nationally regarding refugees and related issues.
  3. Work hand in hand with local and international organizations to promote and enhance the lives of incoming refugees in Canada.
  4. Create and enhance the economic situation of refugees in Canada by promoting economic integration through grants and refugee run initiatives.
  5. Raise funds and receive contributions where appropriate to finance the work of the Centre.
  6. Publicize and promote the work of the Centre.
  7. Assist refugees with banking and insurance procedures.
  8. Create housing alternatives and initiatives to aid in housing the refugee/immigrant population. Organize meetings, training courses and events.
  9. Work with similar groups and exchange information.
  10. Assist refugees with banking and insurance procedures.
  11. Create different support outlets that economically and socially aid the student population in Montreal at large.
  12. Build business development programs or centres to help strengthen the student population as well as the community including, and not limited to, business accelerators and incubators.
  13. Take any action that is lawful, which would help it to fulfill its aims.
  14. Recognize the unique mental health challenges of the refugee population and prioritize  mental health in all the Centre’s services and activities.

What We Hope to Achieve


Coming soon


Our Team

Abdulla Daoud
Executive Director

With an academic background in mathematics, statistics, political science and cybersecurity, Abdulla Daoud leads The Refugee Centre in its various roles to help strengthen the refugee and immigrant population in Canada. Abdulla Daoud oversees the staff and the Centre’s programs to maintain its efficiency and success. Coming from a refugee and migrant upbringing himself and several years of experience in social and political advocacy for the community, he will ensure that The Refugee Centre’s operations and goals are met.

Natasha Guerriero
Communications Director

Natasha graduated from McGill University and is involved in multiple initiatives and organizations that help to serve the Montreal community. She uses her creativity to maintain a transparent means of communication with our clients and those who support our work. She also coordinates and organizes TRC's language classes.

Anissa J.Khan
Community Health Coordinator

Anissa combines a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Concordia University with a Nursing degree to focus on the health needs of the community. This paired with her corporate human resources experience in the IT world makes Anissa a perfect fit for the role of Mental Health Coordinator.

Kinan Swaid
Director of Operations

A current Mechanical Engineering student with a passionate, long history in helping the refugee community in Montreal, and a strong background in aiding the refugee population through education and job training, Kinan helps maintain TRC's foundation in preparing the immigrant and refugee population in Canada for the current workplace. He works with both TRC and DevBloc to build and create a stronger refugee and immigrant workforce.

Jude Ibrahim
Wellness & Art Therapy Coordinator

Jude holds a master's degree in Art Therapy from Concordia University. She is driven to work with newcomers and refugees, and is dedicated to integrating wellness services and art therapy programs to support the accessibility of mental health care.

Alina Murad
Advocacy & Media Relations Coordinator

Alina is a Political Science and Immigration studies graduate from Concordia University. She has been active in the community through organizing and carrying out refugee sponsorship, and is beyond excited to be a part of TRC!

Michelle Murray-Schlitt
Resettlement & Integration Advisor

Michelle’s background is in Global Development Studies, and she brings several years of newcomer settlement experience to the team. She is currently an MA Candidate in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration, focusing on how communal housing affects the integration of refugee claimants in Canada. It’s important to her that Montreal be a welcoming place for newcomers, and she loves contributing to making that happen at The Refugee Centre!

Diane Mahko
Office Manager

Diane Mahko is a political Science student at Concordia University with a minor in Religions and Cultures. Her experience and education has allowed her to have an understanding of the difficulties refugees face. Being a Syrian refugee herself, Diane feels a responsibility to facilitate the needs of the refugee community and meet their needs.

Catherine Harder
Office Manager

Catherine is an Exercise Science graduate from Concordia University and a taekwondo athlete. As someone who has been adapting to new cultures throughout her life, she is excited to be welcoming newcomers to Canada at the Refugee Centre. Whether it be helping refugees who walk in, assisting people over the phone or orienting people toward relevant resources, she hopes to radiate a love that will give hope to those walking through rocky transitions.

Ximena Ramirez Villanueva
Resettlement & Integration Advisor

Ximena graduated from McGill University with a Joint Honours degree in Sociology and International Development, specializing in neocolonialism and the economic factors behind Latin American waves of migration. She herself is a Peruvian immigrant. These experiences have shaped her abilities for her role as a Resettlement & Integration Advisor.

Elina Qureshi
Resettlement & Integration Advisor

Elina (she/her) graduated in 2021 from McGill University and works in the Orientation department to guide newcomers through their asylum processes and resettlement in Quebec. She uses her familiarity with the Montreal community, language skills, and professional background in research and policy to support refugees and asylum seekers in accessing resources and services that help to ease their transition to Montreal.

Hana Sherafati
Case Worker

Hana (she/her) is an undergraduate student double-majoring in Political Science and the School of Community and Public Affairs (SCPA) at Concordia University. Hana is a caseworker in the Health and Wellness Department and uses her familiarity with the Quebec health system and experience as an immigrant herself to shed light, encourage and emphasize the importance of the physical and mental health of migrants in every aspect of society.

Laura Rendon
Case Worker

Laura is currently a Master of Experimental Medicine student at McGill University. She has a background in Immunology and Endocrinology, specifically scientific and clinical diabetes research. She is also passionate about artistic interventions in the medical setting.

Legal Department
Me Pierre-Luc Bouchard
Head of Legal Aid Clinic

Me Pierre-Luc Bouchard is a proud member of the Québec Bar Association. He has vast experience with refugees and immigration matters. He works with our team to provide the important legal information needed to develop our applications more accurately. Pierre-Luc also offers legal advice and training on business matters, and training on starting a business here in Montreal.

Raphael Schmieder-Gropen
Articling Student

Coming Soon

Claudia Mouangue
Legal Researcher & Paralegal

Claudia is a licensed paralegal who works as a legal researcher and paralegal at The Refugee Centre. Claudia ensures that the rights and procedures that apply to asylum seekers are respected by what is conferred by law, and this, throughout the process of the asylum application until they are able to obtain resident status in Canada.

David Cerenzia
Legal Researcher

David Cerenzia is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Edinburgh, and an Honours History degree specializing in Political Science from the University of Guelph. He has worked with refugees and people experiencing homelessness in Canada, social entrepreneurs and innovators in the United Kingdom, and human rights leaders in Norway. At TRC, David employs his passion for research on a variety of projects, from climate-induced migration to the strategic use of immigration as an economic stimulus.

Hadi Salma
Community Health Research Intern

Hadi is a Concordia student specializing in recreational therapy. They have always loved to create and uphold safe spaces that embrace our differences, nurture our enjoyment, and pull together our resources to uplift our communities.

Lena Wang
Graphic Design Intern

Lena is a student completing her bachelors at UBC in computer science. She has always had a passion for design and coding, so web dev and graphic design are her current interests, but she’s looking forwards to branching out to other areas during her time at university. She loves spending her free time building cool things to solve problems and make the world a better place, and her position at TRC has given her the perfect opportunity to do so.

Cassandra Saati
Communications Intern

Cassandra is an undergraduate student in Communications and Sociology at Concordia University. Working at the Refugee Centre, she wishes to educate the young generations regarding refugee struggles on social media.