Staff team

Meet the team who run our day to day operations.

Isik Oguzertem, Director

Prior to joining RAK, Isik (“Ish-ik”) served as Country Director and Programme Adviser with Building Markets, a New York-based charity supporting refugee entrepreneurs in conflict affected countries. He comes with 15 years’ experience working in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey with the United Nations and INGOs on post-conflict recovery and refugee responses. He established Save the Children’s programme in Turkey, led the delivery of educational services to over 25 thousand refugee and host community children, and managed multimillion-pound education and protection portfolios for displaced families and entrepreneurs.

Isik received his MSc in Development Management from the LSE and speaks Turkish and intermediate Arabic. He lives with his partner, Reham, in Richmond.

Amy Lenderyou, Volunteer co-ordinator

Amy joined RAK in April 2019. Amy is responsible for recruiting and training volunteers as well as setting up a mentoring project.  Amy has worked in the charity sector for 20 years and has lots of experience of delivering contracts, managing training & learning programes and working with volunteers. Amy has recently worked on projects with Oxfam and Kidscape after ten lovely years working in senior leadership roles at the Princes Trust.

Johara Borbey, Immigration adviser

Johara joined RAK in September 2018 and runs the Immigration Advice Project.  She is a qualified IAAS Senior Caseworker and Level 3 OISC Advisor. Prior to joining RAK, she worked as an immigration consultant at a City law firm and then as a caseworker in the Public Law and Immigration department of one of the biggest Legal Aid providers in the UK. Johara started her career in immigration law working as a volunteer caseworker at BiD Bail for Immigration Detainees. She is currently studying the Legal Practice Course to qualify as a solicitor.

Ilana Bakal, Counsellor

Ilana is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and a counsellor. She has vast expereince of more than 20 years working at women and refugee organisations in different countries. supporting victims of persecution and inequality, sexual violence, political oppression, forced migration and across nationaliies, cultures and ethnicities.
Although her previous education degrees are in the fields of Litrature and Art, she qualified as a psychodynamic psychotherapist and holds an MA in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy - Theory and Practice from Roehampton University. Ilana is also a qualified EMDR therapist.
In general she specialises in working with people who have experienced depression, anxiety, separation, bereavement, loss or trauma – in particular post traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). In addition to providing one to one therapy, she is a group therapist and a trainer. 

Marwa Belghazi, Integration manager 

Marwa coordinates the support provided to families resettled in Kingston through the Syrian Vulnerable Resettlement Persons Scheme. With a background in political science and urban planning, she has been involved in projects of capacity building across Morocco, Venezuela, Brazil and France. Fluent in French, Spanish and Arabic, she has a large experience of working in a multi-lingual setting to accompany people who have been displaced in the societies where they have found sanctuary.

Hammed Sonny, VPRS community support worker

Hammed joined RAK in May 2020 as a community support worker for families resettled in Kingston through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). Prior to joining RAK, he worked in the refugee integration sector for 4 years in Egypt, France (Volunteering) and the UK. Hammed is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Yoruba.

Dominique Revell, Advice worker

Dominique joined RAK in April 2000 as an administrator. She soon developed an interest in advice work and has been working as an RAK caseworker for the last 10 years. Dominique is a regulated OISC advisor at Immigration Level 1 and gives advice on immigration, benefits, housing, utilities and more. Dominique is fluent in French and English.

Rana Abdulkareem, Advice worker

Rana, started volunteering with RAK in November 2016 as an Arabic interpreter, working primarily with the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. In September 2017 she joined the staff team as an advice worker. Rana also works as an Arabic teacher in a college in London. Rana is fluent in Arabic and English.

Prity Subba, Advice worker

Prity joined the RAK advice team in April 2018. She is a regulated OISC Level 1 adviser. Prity has a particular interest in immigration law and is working towards her OISC Level 2 accreditation. Prity has over five years of experience in the not-for-profit sector working with migrant communities in London.

Yvette Duncan, Information advice and guidance officer

Yvette joined RAK in September 2013 as an advice, guidance and information officer. Yvette has an NVQ Level 3, specialising in work with refugees, asylum seekers and other new arrivals to the UK and many years of experience in advising this group of clients into employment, training and volunteering opportunities. She has predominantly worked in the not for profit sector including: 5 years for the Refugee Council as a New Start tutor, the Creekside Development Project, Target3 and London Probation Trust.

Jenny Arokiasamy, Learning centre manager

Having worked in Adult Education for 20 years, teaching and managing the ESOL and Basic Skills programme, Jenny's role at RAK is to oversee the development of activities at the RAK  learning centre and after school club. In her previous roles she worked as information, advice and guidance manager supporting young families in Merton. 

Heike Gesierich-Betts, ESOL co-ordinator

Having volunteered for RAK as an ESOL tutor (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for 5 years, Heike joined the organisation as co-ordinator for our ESOL programme in 2012. Prior to joining RAK, Heike volunteered for other organisations that support migrants’ integration. Heike holds an MA in English language teaching and is fluent in English, German and Spanish.

Min Payne, Afterschool Project co-ordinator

Min joined us in 2019, having taught in London for 36 years as a secondary school teacher and then as Special Education Needs Coordinator.   

Valerie Jermy, Office manager

Val joined in September 2017 and is responsible for RAK database, office management and communications, including social media and this website. She has a wide knowledge of the local charity sector from her experience working, for 4 years, in a similar role for Kingson based integration and education charity Learn English at Home. Previously, Val worked in marketing in the commercial sector, developing direct and digital marketing campaigns for a range of well known brands.