ORIS’s unique strength is its ability to reach, communicate with, and empower refugee and immigrant communities. ORIS’s multi-lingual staff deploy into the ethnic communities they both live in and serve. Today, ORIS’s staff represent 8 different nationalities and speak a combined 16 languages. ORIS’s 7 member Board of Directors is entirely composed of refugees, immigrants, and first-generation Americans. ORIS is an ethnic community-based organization, with 90% of the staff and board reflecting the ethnicities of the communities that we serve.
Mukhtar has led ORIS since its inception in 2005. In this role he harnesses the needs, skills, and dreams of the clients, board, staff, and partner agencies that make up ORIS, to guide the organization along a path true to the community it serves. A native of Somalia, Mr. Idhow attended secondary school in Kenya and worked as the Farm Training Coordinator for the non-profit organization GT2, where he trained refugee camp residents on basic crop production. In the U.S., Mr. Idhow worked as an interpreter for the Manchester Community Health Center and for Southern New Hampshire Services before founding the Somali Bantu Community Association.
Asraa Hisham manages ORIS’s case management team and brings over 10 years of experience working with immigrants and refugees. She joined ORIS as the Healthy Families program manager, and now oversees that program, along with ORIS’s employment services, and general case management work. Prior to joining ORIS, Asraa worked in different non-profit organizations where she focused on economic development, employment services, and supporting fundraising efforts. She holds a BA in Communication and is a Nationally Certified Arabic Interpreter.
Touria graduated from Moulay Ismail University in Morocco. In 2001, and after working for the American Peace Corps Organization, Touria moved to the United States where she started a new career as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and their children at the International Women’s House in Georgia. In 2008, she moved with her family to New Hampshire where she started working at the YWCA – first as a volunteer, then on staff as a culturally-specific advocate until 2018. Touria continues to serve refugee and immigrant communities as Case Manager and Victim Advocate at ORIS.
Zach plays an essential role at the Fresh Start Food Hub and is responsible for receiving and packaging produce, packing FarmShare and food access boxes, delivering products to customers, and managing inventory and Food Hub logistics. Zach brings a great deal of experience in grocery/retail, merchandising, and customer service to the team.
Jed Crook is the Farm Manager for the NASAP program. He works directly with farmers to help with aspects of improving their harvest and growing experience. He builds training curriculum and provides workshops to assist farmers during the winter months as well as provides hands-on technical assistance throughout the growing season. He is involved in the creation of new infrastructure and the management of farm spaces. He has experience in education, agriculture, ecological restoration, and social justice.
Emily Filiano joined ORIS in 2022 as Program Design Manager. Emily is responsible for guiding ORIS’s programs through the design life-cycle. She collaborates with staff to plan new programs, establish systems for effective operation, and ensure that programs align with ORIS’s mission, and uphold the integrity of its service model. Emily has a strong background of work with immigrant and refugee communities, and is a qualified medical interpreter. Emily earned a Masters Degree in Social Work at Boston College, where she specialized in Macro Practice, received a certificate in Policy and Community Organizing, and was a member of the Latinx Leadership Initiative. Emily is passionate about racial and cultural equity, and dedicated to promoting human dignity through sustainable systems change.
Diamond joined ORIS in March 2022 to develop our capacity to support volunteerism and to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the growing organization. She is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and holds a BS In Justice studies from Southern New Hampshire University. Diamond has a passion for volunteer work and bettering the community, including 6 years’ experience volunteering with FEMA. Diamond is also currently working as a case manager with Community Resources for Justice, helping incarcerated individuals successfully reenter society.
Peg Prolman joined ORIS in the fall of 2021. After working in education for over 25 years, she was hired as the Farm to School Coordinator to bring together all of the Manchester and Nashua partners to deliver tailored curriculum and Farm Fresh Friday pizzas to select elementary and middle schools in each district. She has a Bachelors in Political Science and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Peg also works as a Fresh Start Farms store clerk and food packer.
Marta joined the ORIS team in August of 2022 after a year of living and working abroad in Germany. She assists Sarah and the Fresh Start Farms team in all things hub-related and brings a wide background of experience within the field of environmental science and sustainable agriculture. She hopes to expand her understanding of sustainable food production by experiencing all points of the food supply chain—from growing to distributing—and dreams of connecting people to the earth through food.
Molly joined ORIS in December 2021 after spending the year working on vegetable farms out in New Mexico. She has worked at various non-profits focused on community and economic development, civic engagement, and youth development. As the Food Access Coordinator, Molly operates and manages our Mobile Market as well as other food access initiatives throughout the year. She is committed to both eliminating barriers to healthy food and strengthening NH food systems.
Minata Toure joined ORIS in 2015 as Marketing Coordinator to support Fresh Start Farms NH, an immigrant and refugee farmer collective. A native of Banfora (Burkina Faso), Minata attended high school and college in Ouagadougou. She is responsible for market coordination and community engagement for Fresh Start Farms NH. She provides on-site technical support to farmer entrepreneurs and fulfillment of high-quality and timely orders of produce, including CSA post-harvest handling.
Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Food Hub and is your contact for all things FarmShare. Sarah brings experience in food justice work and sustainable farming to the team, as well as a passion for building food systems where everyone has access to fresh, healthy, affordable food.
Our board of thought leaders, movers, and shakers who form the backbone of the ORIS mission.
MR. MUKHTAR IDHOW
ORIS Executive Director
MR. CRISPIN MILELE
Medical Interpreter at Manchester Community Health Clinic
MS. VICTORIA ADEWUMI
Community Liaison/Public Health Specialist at City of Manchester Health Department
MR. ALI SEKOU
MR. GARETH ORSMOND
Partner, Pierce Atwood
MS. LINA SHAYO
Immigration Lawyer at Mesa Law
MR. FAMOH TOURE
Program Manager at Pinpoint Translations/ International Institute of New England
MS. LEA TUYISABE
Accounting Technician, City of Manchester
MR. DAVID WOUR