Meet 2018 – 2019 SAISIA Board of Directors


2018-2019 SAISIA Member Agencies

The Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre Inc.
African Canadian Resource Network
Prince Albert YWCA
Global Gathering Place
Moose Jaw Multicultural Council
Prince Albert Multicultural Council
Regina Open Door Society Inc.
Saskatoon Open Door Society Inc.
Saskatchewan Intercultural Association
International Women of Saskatoon
Regina Immigrant Women Centre
Catholic Family Services (CFS)
Carlton Trail College
Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise
Battleford Immigration Resource Centre
Cumberland College
Great Plains College
Parkland College
Réseaux en immigration francophone de la Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society
Saskatchewan Polytechnic - Regina
TESL Saskatchewan
North West College
Together We Can

Getachew Woldeyesus

Board President

Getachew Woldeyesus is the Manager of Settlement, Family and Community Services at the Regina Open Door Society. He is also former President and board member of Saskatchewan Association Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies. Since 2009, he represents the Saskatchewan at the national Settlement Sector table.    

An accredited Settlement Practitioner in Saskatchewan and former refugee from Ethiopia, Getachew has been with the Regina Open Door Society since 1987. During the last twenty–nine years, he held several positions within the organization. He also worked on several community partnership initiatives to help develop a welcoming and supportive community for immigrants in the city of Regina.

Some of the major projects include the Regina Open Door and Regina Police Service Newcomers Information and Orientation Project and the Refugee Health Project. 

Getachew holds a Bachelor Social Work Degree and MSW (soon to be awarded) from the University of Regina. As part of his graduate studies program, he conducted several research projects in the area of immigration including Temporary Workers Program, Canada Seasonal Agricultural Program, and Refugee Protection in Canada.

Abdur Rehman Ahmad

Board Vice President

Originally from Pakistan, Abdur has made Saskatoon his new home since 2012.

Possessing a Masters in Business Administration from Pakistan, Abdul completed another Masters of Public Health Course (MPH) in 2016 from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

Having over 8 years’ experience working in the public health and non-profit sector. Abdur had worked on Public Health projects in the global south namely Pakistan and worked with international development agencies based in Austria, Germany and The Netherlands.

He currently works with SIA as the HR & Policy manager. Abdur is thrilled every day to work for an intercultural organization that is creating impact in the community by helping Newcomers through employment and language programs as well as building bridges between Newcomers and Indigenous people.

Lori Steward

Board Secretary

Lori Steward has worked in a variety of positions at Global Gathering Place since starting with the agency as a volunteer in 2006. In addition to volunteering, she was an English as a Second Language instructor, Life Skills worker, Settlement Advisor, and is now the Community Connections Manager.

Ms. Steward brings a diverse skill set which includes a technical, scientific background; she holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the University of Québec. Before joining the Settlement Sector, among others, she worked as a programmer analyst and graphic designer. Her strengths in communication help her to network and build partnerships which she applies to improve case management for clients facing multiple barriers to integration. She is passionate about helping newcomers to Saskatoon achieve full and successful lives. She now manages the team tasked with providing Life Skills and health support to Government Assisted Refugees at Global Gathering Place.

Ms. Steward lives in Saskatoon with her husband and two daughters. In her personal time, she pursues her avid interest in art and fine craft and also serves on the Executive of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Craft Council.

Kirandeep Bhullar

Board Treasurer

Kirandeep Bhullar is the Manager, Federal Programs and Funds Development, with Regina Immigrant Women Centre. She immigrated to Canada, from India, in 2004.

Having completed her Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) at the Ontario Institute of Studies for Education (OISE), University of Toronto Kirandeep worked for the Peel District School Board in the Greater Toronto Area for 5+ years as a high school teacher, before moving to Regina in 2014. In January 2015, she joined Regina Immigrant Women Centre as a Computer Instructor, with the Pre-employment program, and has continued to work at the centre in different capacities.

Kirandeep enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Napoléon Hatungimana

Board Member

Napoléon grew up in Burundi and completed a Bachelor of Social Science degree at the University of Burundi in 2003 as well as development training in several countries such as Uganda, Singapore, China and Italy. Napoléon also holds a Diploma in Telecom Regulations at United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) in Washington DC, USA. He worked for the Government of Burundi as an Advisor with the Ministry of Transportation, Postal Services and Telecommunications before settling in Canada in 2008. 

Possessing six years experience as a Settlement and Employment Advisor at Assemblée Communautaire Fransaskoise, he had worked with many community service organisations in Quebec and Saskatchewan relating to the settlement and Integration processes of Newcomers and Immigrants in Canada. 

Napoléon serves on several community organisation boards from 2005 to the present day in Burundi and Saskatchewan.

Dalise Hector

Board Member

Dalise is the Project Manager for the new South Central Regional Immigration Partnership (SCRIP).  She began her career in the settlement and integration field in 2010 as the information advisor for the Moose Jaw Newcomer Welcome Centre (NWC), one of Saskatchewan’s regional gateways, and a division of the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council (MJMC).  She later served briefly as a settlement worker in schools (SWIS) before returning to the NWC as program manager until 2018 when she moved to her current role. 

She holds a bachelor of arts from Briercrest College and has pursued continuing education in international community development through Mount Royal College.

Since 2014, Dalise has served in the roles of chair and co-chair for the Moose Jaw Newcomer Services Steering Committee.  She is also a member of the city’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee and has served previously on the Board of Directors for Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies. 

With a sharp focus on collaboration and community development, Dalise is especially passionate about newcomer-community integration. She is a resourceful program and project developer, a natural communicator, and a leader who enjoys leveraging social, organizational, and financial capital for greater community cohesion. Dalise engages key stakeholders to improve outcomes for the marginalized and the mainstream. In 2017, she was recognized with the teamwork award by the Moose Jaw Police Service for “outstanding cooperation, dedication and teamwork to improve quality of life.”

Dalise is married with two young daughters. Before returning to her hometown of Moose Jaw in 2010, she had the opportunity to be immersed in a multi-national environment, travelling to many regions of the world while working on ocean liners.

Janine Hart

Board Member

Janine is the Executive Director of a rural settlement agency in Humboldt SK.

Immigrating to rural Canada from a large inner-city area in Norther England in 2007, Janine revisited her skill set, to continue working with vulnerable population groups. With an Honours degree (Bachelor of Arts) majoring in Therapeutic Play studies, Janine has an extensive background working with children separated from their primary carers and/or family members through incarceration. She developed the UK’s first therapeutic play space in a women’s closed prison facility, and has work published in the Open University Press. Janine has spoken in public forums about the impacts of play deprivation and play bias in children suffering trauma and has interests in attachment disorders.

Janine is currently in dialogue with the Elizabeth Fry Society SK and is engaged in independent research. Janine is the President of the Humboldt and District Soccer Association and has been an active member of the Healthy Breakfast Program, School Community Council, Calico Gymnastics Club, amongst other community activities.

Ijeoma Nwamuo

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

Belma Podrug

Board Member

Belma Podrug has been contributing to SAISIA's growth and development through her involvement on the SAISIA Board of Directors since 2008. She is the Executive Director of the Global Gathering Place, an organization which she helped to found in 1998 and nurtured from very humble beginnings into becoming a primary point of contact for the many newcomers who make Saskatoon their home.

Ms Podrug's personal perspective of having lived in Bosnia during the Bosnian war gives her insight into how war and violence can impact human rights and first hand perspective into the struggles of newcomers and refugees.

Ms Podrug values community involvement and works to inspire others to reach their full potential. Some accomplishments of note include receiving the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2003 and speaking about minority issues at the United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2013.

In addition to her Engineering studies at the University of Sarjevo, Ms Podrug obtained her Social Work degree from the University of Regina and worked for several years as a Social Worker with Adult Community Mental Health and Addictions Services in Saskatoon. Her Social Work background as well as her own experience as a newcomer to Canada make Ms Podrug a strong advocate for the rights of newcomers at every opportunity.

Ms Podrug lives in Saskatoon with her husband and son, Aiden—her greatest accomplishment.

Neritza Tapia

Board Member

Neritza is an Employment Facilitator with Regina Immigrant Women Centre. In this role, Neritza provides employment assessment and client’s career counselling supports and advocate for helping women to be successfully integrated into the Canadian workforce.

Neritza came to Canada from Venezuela in 2012 and has been involved in volunteering with different organizations in her home country and in the United States. Neritza has a bachelor degree in tourism and hotel management from her home country. Over the years of work experience with multicultural environments, and as an immigrant herself; she has blended her past experience to enhance her knowledge of the settlement sector.

Her career, prior to joining RIWC, includes social media marketing, entrepreneurship and ESL program coordination, been the most memorable, management of ESL programs for schools with children with autism, HDS, and NIMH in Venezuela. In Madison WI. she served many years as a volunteer for the hispanic community where she helped newcomers to settle and integrate, offered guidelines through services and ESL classes. And most recently joined efforts with local settlement agencies to organize the 1st. NEW-Regina event on May 2018, where different local organizations and employers met newcomers and offer their services.

Neritza joined SASIA Board on June 2016 and has served as part of the Membership Engagement committee. She loves doing Yoda, science-fiction reading and all about self-improvement, social media and entrepreneurship topics.

Ali Abukar

Board Member

Joined the SAISIA Board in 2016, Ali Abukar is the Executive Director of Saskatoon Open Door Society since 2015. He brings both personal and professional experience to SAISIA and the sector. Mr. Abukar has a background in social work, migration and refugee studies and business administration. Mr. Abukar worked with refugees and newcomers both as front line professional and as a leader in Canada and abroad. He brings more than 15 years’ work experience in the field of settlement and integration of refugees and newcomers in various countries.

Mr. Abukar has lived experience as refugee and newcomer. He is passionate and committed in his work around refugee advocacy, education, literacy, mental health, reconciliation and community building. He works toward diverse and inclusive community where refugees and newcomers succeed. Through SAISIA, Mr. Abukar hopes to contribute to the community work toward diverse and inclusive Saskatoon for newcomers to resettle and succeed.