The ARDC Team

The ARDC is managed and run by a core team of staff members who fill both paid and voluntary positions. All of our programs are heavily dependent upon our volunteers, currently numbered at 120, who come from Israel, abroad and the refugee and asylum seeker community itself. We are united by a common commitment to advance the cause of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel.

 

ARDC Board of Directors

The ARDC’s activities and policies are directed by our Board of Directors which is comprised of seven members from the Israeli and refugee community. However, refugees and asylum seekers represent a majority of the board.

  • Asaf Calderon, Israel
  • Daniel Beaudoin, Austrian-Israeli, grew up in Belgian Congo
  • Habtom Mehari, Eritrea
  • Kidane Isaac, Eritrea
  • Moussa Abdoul, Central African Republic
  • Mutasim Ali, Sudan
  • Nurit Wugraft, Israel

ARDC staff

Mutasim Ali, CEO

Mutasim Ali Ahmed is originally from Sudan. He came to Israel in 2009. Since then, he has served as an activitist for his community. He is passionate about creating opportunities for refugees to speak their mind, and he has often stood in the front line to defend the rights. Mutisim has helped to found five community centers in Israel. He has also worked with Amnesty international in Israel from 2010 to 2013, and he currently volunteers for the Combat Genocide Association. Since 2010, Mutasim has been involved with ARDC as a community leader, responsible for facilitating the mission of ARDC and helping ARDC's staff to understand the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. He became part of the board in 2013, stepping in as interim CEO at the end of 2013 and taking on the position as permanent CEO in 2014.

Dr Diddy Mymin Kahn, Manager Community Psycho social services

Diddy Mymin Kahn is a clinical psychologist who did her clinical training at Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University in Israel. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Tavistock Clinic and Essex University in the UK. She has additional specialist training from the UK in systemic psychotherapy, group analysis, compassionate mind training, mindfulness training and EMDR. Diddy has 18 years clinical experience working as a therapist, supervisor, trainer and consultant. She has experience in individual, family and group therapy with people a wide range of difficulties. She has a particular interest and expertise in working with survivors of trauma in general, but particularly, in the context of rape, childhood abuse, and political violence.

Dijana Mujkanovic, Resource Development Coordinator

Dijana Mujkanovic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia). She came to St. Louis, USA with her family in 1999 as a refugee. There she received her Bachelor's degree from North Central College in Chicago in Political Science and Global Studies with focus on Developing States. Post graduation, Dijana worked as a resource development coordinator, case worker and advocacy officer for Harmony in Life, a mental health organization for survivors of torture and war trauma from the former Yugoslavia. In 2011, Dijana moved to the Middle East and accepted a position as an English Teacher in the United Arab Emirates for one year. In 2012, she came to Israel and completed her Master's in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Tel Aviv University. After graduation, Dijana began her work with the African refugee community in Israel, first as an intern and later as a Refugee Active Participation Project Coordinator with Amnesty International Israel. Dijana continues to work with AII alongside her work as a Resource Development Coordinator with the ARDC.

Tessa Wiggans, Human Resources Manager

Tessa Wiggans, originally from the UK received a BSc in Animal Behaviour and worked for several years with primates and in conservation in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand. After moving to Israel Tessa volunteered with ARDC in 2012 and became the Human Resources Manager in January 2013.

Michal Zimry, Social work manager

Michal Zimry is a social worker and a family and couple therapist. She has a degree in special education for the deaf and a second degree in educational counseling. She has additional training in Trauma therapy. Michal has a wide range of experience working with individuals with special needs, families with multiple difficulties, parental skill training, group work and professional group supervision. At the ARDC Michal is responsible for the psycho-social care of the families and children.

Hadas Yaron, AAA Coordinator

Dr Hadas Yaron, social anthropologist, was awarded a PhD degree from Cambridge University in 2006 and is currently a lecturer at the Academic College Tel Aviv Yafo (since 2007), and is also teaching at the African and Middle Eastern Studies Department at Tel Aviv University. Hadas held the position of Refugee Coordinator for Amnesty International (AI) the Israel Section from 2007 until 2009

ARDC Working Group

All projects are designed and implemented in close consultation with the ARDC Working Group which meets on a fortnightly basis. Its members are drawn from nine African refugee communities found in Israel, namely Sudan, Eritrea, DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville and Central African Republic. The ARDC Working Group members are either elected by their community as its leaders or are active and influential community members. The Working Group recognizes that if united as one voice, the various refugee communities can strengthen their influence to effect policy change. The body serves as a conduit between the ARDC and the communities so that we understand events as they are developing on the ground and the communities can help us formulate an appropriate response. Working Group members also volunteer in all aspects of our projects and frequently assist with translation. The Working Group is also responsible for arranging activities to raise public awareness at special events such as on International Refugee Day and other activities as part of our Giving Back with Love project.