Refugee Care Collective Team
Megan Cegla – Founder & Executive Director
For nearly 15 years, 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 and advocate, 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.
Yinka Dawson – Program Manager, Family Mentorship
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. She provides training and support to volunteers and ensures that clients, volunteers and partners receive adequate support.
Matt Meron – Program Manager, Youth Mentorship
Matt brings energy and passion to the Refugee Care Collective team. After years of experience working with international communities stateside and overseas, he brings a firsthand perspective to many of the struggles our new neighbors experience. He deeply cares about refugee youth being empowered to imagine and dream of what their lives could be. Matt hopes to see Portland become a place full of empathy for newcomers and where rebuilding home can be a true community effort. He oversees Refugee Care Collective’s Youth Mentorship Program, supporting junior high and high school youth as they transition to life in Portland.
Ashley Mikhail – Program Manager, Restart Kits
After visiting refugee camps in the Middle East, Ashley was deeply touched and began to look for ways to help families being resettled in her community. Through walking alongside a couple families, she observed how difficult it can be to adapt to life in a new country, how friendships can help make the path forward a bit less challenging, and how meaningful restart kits can be. Ashley has worked for multiple non-profits and has been a core team member at Refugee Care Collective for over five years. She now oversees the Restart Kit Program and the coordination of in-kind donations, and loves seeing members of the community show up to support our new neighbors as they rebuild their lives.
Marzia Afzal – Programs Specialist
After conflict forced Marzia and her family to leave their country, she went to work with prominent global non-profits to support and empower refugees in their times of need. She had opportunities to work with many young women to support their health and education. Now, after living in the Portland-area for many years and with the development of recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine, Marzia continues her ongoing efforts to assist our newest community members. Through Refugee Care Collective, she identifies and works closely with families and youth who need mentorship and support so that they can rebuild their lives and thrive in their new homes.
We partner closely with all 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
• Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
• Lutheran Community Services Northwest
We are also honored to partner with Oregon Department of Human Services in this work.