Who We Are

We support the mental health of refugees who arrive in British Columbia with psychological trauma as a result of torture, political violence, and other forms of persecution on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Starting with a group of human rights activists and mental health workers gathered in Vancouver to support refugees arriving from the armed conflicts in Central America, in 1986, the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (“VAST”) turned the BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health.

100

countries (even more) in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America are origins of refugees VAST works with nowadays.

12

languages are supported by our programs and services, including Arabic, Farsi, French, Mandarin, and Spanish.

We Are People Working

STAFF
A.R.
STAFF
Finance & Operations Manager
Elena Hack
STAFF
Expressive Arts Therapist
Farooq Mehdi
STAFF
Editor In Chief, Voices Against Torture
Frank Cohn
STAFF
Executive Director
Hosnia Shekib
STAFF
Intake Support Worker
Jhevoi Melville
STAFF
Support Worker
Luksaz Felczak
STAFF
Expressive Arts Therapist
Mackenzie Do
STAFF
Administrative Associate
Maria Fernanda Medrano
STAFF
Clinical Counsellor
Mariana Martinez Vieyra
STAFF
Clinical Supervisor
Matias Hacker
STAFF
Senior Clinical Counsellor
Rawan Moon
STAFF
Intake Support Worker
Sara Maria Gomez Lopez
STAFF
Intake & Engagement Coordinator
CONTRACTOR
Alana Bodell
CONTRACTOR
Outdoors Coordinator
Alejandra Rodriguez
CONTRACTOR
Outreach Associate
Ali Alsharhanee
CONTRACTOR
Clinical Counsellor
Anderson Araujo
CONTRACTOR
Website Designer
Carolina Aguirre Henriquez
CONTRACTOR
Youth Outreach Associate
Fatima Haidari
CONTRACTOR
Survivors Advocate Program Associate
Gilberto Algar-Faria
CONTRACTOR
Development Coordinator
Guillermo Castillo Gonzalez
CONTRACTOR
Film Production & Communications Associate
Maria Victoria Kenny
CONTRACTOR
Interpreter and Move & Relax Yoga Instructor
Marwan Noueihed
CONTRACTOR
Clinical Counsellor
Minoo Asadi
CONTRACTOR
Clinical Counsellor
Mozaffar Adam
CONTRACTOR
Intake Support Worker
Sediqa Sarwari
CONTRACTOR
Intake Support Worker
Yaimel Lopez
CONTRACTOR
Graphic Designer
VOLUNTEER
James Wong
VOLUNTEER
Research and Documentation Centre
Alka Tandan
VOLUNTEER
Business Strategist
Sage Houston
VOLUNTEER
Social Media
Max Norton
VOLUNTEER
Research and Documentation Centre
Updates to website, Research
Leila Johnson
VOLUNTEER
Research and Documentation Centre
Justin Bains
VOLUNTEER
Social Media
Joelle Schaffer
VOLUNTEER
Administrative Volunteer
Dr. Rahul Soma
VOLUNTEER
Psychiatrist
Aleksandra Djordjevic
VOLUNTEER
Research and Documentation Centre
INTERPRETER
Abeer Hattab
INTERPRETER
Arabic
Celyne Asnani
INTERPRETER
Cantonese, Mandarin
Faustin Bilikano
INTERPRETER
French, Kirundi, Swahili, Kinyarwanda
Heyin Kim
INTERPRETER
Korean
Ibrahim Alashkar
INTERPRETER
Arabic
Marian Cheb Terrab
INTERPRETER
Portuguese
Maya Mojtahed
INTERPRETER
Farsi
Negar Lajevardi
INTERPRETER
Farsi
Nizar Alashkar
INTERPRETER
Arabic
Ozlem Suleyman
INTERPRETER
Turkish
Salah Issa
INTERPRETER
Oromo, Somali
Samsam Odey
INTERPRETER
Somali
Wali Sahar
INTERPRETER
Dari, Pashto
EDITORIAL  BOARD MEMBERS -VAT
Fizza Sabir
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
Higher Education College
Grant Charles
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
University of British Columbia
Leila Johnson
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
We the MindfulCanada
Mohammad Abu Srour
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
We the Mindful, Canaan Eco
Patrick Swanzy
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
University of The Western Cape
Poulomee Datta
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
Inclusive Education
Rubina Hanif
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
Quaid-e-Azam University
Wajid Pirzada
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER - VAT
Roots Pakistan
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBERS - VAT
Amelia Dangerfield
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Member, Secretary
Dr. Grant Charles
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Member
Dr. Farooq Mehdi
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Member and Editor in Chief, Voices Against Torture
Michelle Yau
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Member
Matthew Borghese
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Co-Chair
Nick Lopez
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Treasurer
Sonya Sabet Resekh
BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBER - VAT
Co-Chair

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Past Volunteers

Since 1986, VAST has had hundreds of committed, skillful volunteers helping to bring our mission to life. Below is a short alphabetical list of some of our volunteers. If you have been a volunteer in the past, we would love to hear from you, please reach out to our ED: frank@vast-vancouver.ca

Iyabo Abass-Opere • Eva Aboud • Amiri Abouzar • Monica Aguado • Abdul-Aziz Al-RUBAYE • Alana • Huda Al-Saedy • Angelica Alejandra • Abdulamir Ali • Shahla Ali • Mehmet Ali Can • Mohammad Alimardan • Siham Alkhashief • Dina Aloi • Beatriz Alvarez • Anitha Amarnath • Suhair Amin • Abouzar Amiri • Emma Andrews • Neda Ansari • Eduardo Aragon • Anderson Araújo de Miranda • Barbara Arnold • Jose Luis Ayala Alavez • Puneh Erfan Bahrami • Dr. Robert J. Baker • Mamoud Ghafele Bashi • Peter Baza • Fabiola Bazo • Peter Bazovsky • Melissa Beedle • Gholamreza Behboudi • Carmen Bellows • Laura Best • Patricia P Blendal • Conrad Bowden • Pamela Bromley • Bediako Buahene • Dawit Likasa Bulcha • Eduardo Bureos • Pablo Bustos • Alper Caglayan • Shannon Caldwell • Jackie Challis • Alex Charlton • Donna Chen • Brian Chittock • Beverley Como • Craig Costantino • Manuela Costantino • Paul Coulter • Claudette Court • Devyn Cousineau • Joanne Crandall • Marilyn Crystal • Janice Cywinski • Guergen Dankwort • Nooshin Daya • Dr. Yaya de Andrade • Ruben del Muro • Anna Derbis • Michael Dhaliwal • Christina Dhami • Amrit Dhatt • Mira Dodig • Taraneh Erfan • Hassan Erfan • Mahshid Esfandiari • Adriana Espinoza • Danilo Estrada • Denise Faccini • Shokoh Filom • Mehriar Filom • Adrian Fine • Noreen Finerty • Duane Fontaine • Carol Forcier • Rosie Forth • Teya France • Fran Gallo • Dr. Soma Ganesan • Jodie Gauthier • Sareh Geary • Davood Ghavami • Genesis Gonzales-Leang • Oscar Gonzalez • Brian Green • Rita Green • Irene Guinand • Tamara Guyon • Masoud Habibian • Matias Hacker • Elizabeth Hafeli • Saif Hammed • Gail Harmer • Hamid Hashemi • Erik Hellgren • Michael Wilkins Ho • Negar Hooshmand • Katherine Hoover • Kirby Huminuik • James Hutchinson • Heyin Insookim • Ahmad Saleh Khary Ismail • Mauro Jao • Jeff • Satpal Jheeta (Saph) • Azadeh Joharjfard • Susan Johnston • Kambiz Joolaie • Mahpareh Kadri Mokri • Riba Kalb • Golmehr Kazari • Jemal Kenhar • Hossein Kia • Myung Hak kim • Maureen Kirkpatrick • Graham Kosakoski • Selim Koyuncu • Sebnem Koyuncu • Niko Kozobolidis • Freya Kristensen • Anna Kristensen • Greta Kubiliute • Petros Faltamo Kurka • Henry Kurnia • Kie Langille • Harvey Larochelle • Sandra Leang • Yaneth Ledesma • Kathleen Lehan • Shaina Lehan • Jean Lempriere • Ross Lempriere • Sally Li • Augusta Lokhorst • Lise Loubert • Leona Anyi Lu • Jovana Lukic • Hui Luo • Geoff Lyon • Kaleen M’Namara • Clair MacGougan • Sarah MacQueen • Frances MacQueen • John MacQueen • Melia Mah • Joseph Makom • Norma Marcos • Aurelie Marguerite • Erin Marshall • Rosana Martinez • Mariana Martinez Vieyra • Neazi Marzieh • Dr. Gabor Maté • Leigh Matthews • Richard Mauti • Dylan Mazur • Carolyn McCool • Tiffany McFadyen • Trilby McGaw • Kate McLean • Dave McMurran • Sacha Medine • Shonee Mendoza • Victoria Mendoza • Dhaliwal Michael • Michael Milligan • Anne Mills • Naomi Minwalla • Jamal Mirmiran • Yoko Mizuno • Rahman Mofti • Kristin Moller • Shane D. Molyneaux • Paige Morrow • Ashkan Mosavatchi • Jennifer Moss • Arvin Mossavatchi • Maryam Mousavian • Ismael Mubarak • Kathleen Muir • Ethan Murchie • Allison Muth • Marisol Nacho • Ana maria Nacif • Eyob Naizghi • Ahmad Nakhaei • Marzieh Neazi • Jeff Neff • Mehdi Niavarani Zadeh • Azar Niazi • Andrea Noakes • Talisa Nyte • Karen O’Connor • Paul Okhous • Cindy Pan • Adriane Pasa • Valerie Patrick • Diane Payette • Sara Paynter • Nevenka (Beba) Peric • Anne Perival • Kim Peterson • Nilda Phillips Phillips • Rebeca Pinca • Nelson Pineros • Barineka Pius Gbarazia • Paul Plut • Jake Pogoson • Jill Pollack • Antony Porcino • Alfredo Porras • DeeDee Poyner • Terry Preston • Michael Priest • Erin Pritchard • Tarique Qayumi • Sarah Race • Rahila • Setareh Raj • Pablo Francisco Ramirez • Vikki Reynolds • Christopher Richmond • Kirstin Ridout • Gayle Robinson • Shirley Roburn • Carolina Rojas • Sandra Rose • Saba • Sadiq • Taiseer Sadiq • Fatemeh Sadri • Eidy Sadri • Mohamed Said • Massoud Saidi • Merlin Saint Germain • Thomas Salley • Mehri Samiee • Astarte Sands • Heleen Sandvik • Harkamal Sangha • Naoko Sasaki • Linda Schucroft • Stephanie Sersli • Rosa Sevy • Ali Shahin • Asai Shahin • Brooke Shakspeare • Abisheikh Sharma • Tricia Sharp • Farid Sherazi • Goli Shifteh • Mady Sieben • Rekha Singh • Joshua Sohn • Andrea Sola • Bozena Soltys • Gultaj Somani • Dani Srour • Lesley Stalker • Irene Sternitzke • John Steven • Peter Stockholder • Zool K.B. Suleman • Magdalena Sweetgrass • Salimeh Tabirizi • Shalene Takara • Carrie Taylor • Yasmin Tayob • Shireen Tayob Folsen • Scott J. Tebbutt • Aun Than • Mariam Theophanous • Deb Thomas • Soraya Thomas • Christine Thomas • Brian Thomas Peter • Kate Thomas-Peter • Gordon Thompson • Corina Tomlinson • Eric Tse • Adriana Tweedlie • Azam Tyab • Katia Tynan • Catherine Vail • Patrik Valerie • Marieke Vandenhende • Ruperto Vazques • Felipe Vega • Guillermo Verdecchia • Irma Vidal • Anna Vorobyova • Amita Vulimiri • Harmony Wagner • Ali Wajir Hellabad • Wahan Wanis • Dana Wasserman • Seiko Watanabe • Sandi Watson • Rene Weideman • Brenda Wemp • Ben West • Peter Williamson • Hassan Wojcik • Sarah Wojcik • Angela Wong • Emily Wong • Yvonne Woo • Joseph Wosk • Elaine Wynne • Kay Young • Barb Young • Ali Yusuf • Farhad Zandi • Hamid Zarei • Michelle Zhang • Maggie Ziegler

Who Trains with VAST