Refugee Care Collective Team
Megan Cegla, Co-Founder & Executive Director
For over a decade, Megan has served refugee families resettled in Portland, OR. She was first connected with a family of eleven from Central African Republic. Through weekly visits, Megan walked with this family and others as a friend, advocate, and guide, learning from their experiences transitioning to life in the United States and becoming familiar with the gaps in care for those fleeing war, persecution, and unrest.
In 2015, Megan founded Refugee Care Collective to meet the needs of the refugee community and to coordinate efforts for faith communities, businesses, and schools. Through her leadership, Refugee Care Collective programs have been nationally recognized as best practices. Megan speaks to national audiences on resettlement and community partnerships, and hopes to revolutionize refugee care both in Portland and on a national level. She has long believed in the power of collective, the value of long-term presence, and the opportunity we all have to rebuild that which has been lost or broken. In her spare time, Megan enjoys having dinner with her central African friends who sparked her heart ten years ago and inspired what is now, Refugee Care Collective.
Yinka Ayodele, Programs Manager
Since the conflict affecting people from Syria became global, Yinka has been on a journey to come alongside those that have been forced to flee their country of origin. This led her to study International Politics and Human Rights and work with unaccompanied minors who were seeking asylum and refugees in the UK. Following this, she moved to Tyre, Lebanon to work with those who were refugees there. From creating restart kits with her community to living and working in the UK and Lebanon, her hope is that those who have to flee their homes will be welcomed into their new community, by a collective, and have a chance to heal and rebuild.
Matt Meron, Community Partnerships Manager
Matt brings energy and excitement to the Refugee Care Collective team. After years of experience working with overlooked populations stateside and overseas, he brings a firsthand perspective to many of the struggles our new neighbors experience. From transitioning to many different households as a kid to being on the ground at several refugee camps overseas, he understands what makes a place home in a personal way. Matt desires to see Portland become a place full of empathy for newcomers and where rebuilding home can be a true community effort marked by radical acts of love. He oversees Refugee Care Collective events, partnerships, and loves to dream of what could be.
Tacara Burson, Warehouse & Inventory Supervisor
Tacara leads monthly collection days and manages restart kit inventory. She is an advocate of focusing on the solution instead of being overwhelmed by the need. She values the individual, giving all that she can to each refugee family under Refugee Care Collective’s care. Tacara brings the heart to care for people and the brains to keep collection days organized and running smoothly. She believes that embracing newcomers helps restore the balance in a world that needs more love and understanding, and less fear. Tacara is a gift to the Refugee Care Collective team and has been a committed team member for years.
We partner closely with the three local resettlement agencies to serve and meet the needs of refugee families and individuals. These resettlement agencies work in partnership with the federal government to resettle refugees in Portland, Oregon.
• Catholic Charities of Oregon
• Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
• Lutheran Community Services Northwest
We are also honored to partner with Oregon Department of Human Services to support and come alongside refugee youth.
While Refugee Care Collective was born with the support of many, Michael McDonald and Christopher Coffman are credited above all with recognizing the need, mobilizing community leaders, and providing the necessary backing. Michael McDonald was the Founder and previous Director of Hear The Cry, now working for The Bible Project. Christopher Coffman is the Associate Pastor of Outreach of River West Church. They are both passionate about being advocates for refugees through long-term, relational care.