Our Staff

Susannah Lepley is the CWS Virginia director, based in Harrisonburg. She manages all the daily operations of our Harrisonburg office. Susannah grew up in Brazil and speaks Portuguese and Spanish.

Lucia Canizares is the Immigration Counselor, accredited by the Department of Justice to practice immigration law. She speaks Spanish, English, and French and works to assist clients with applications for legal services such as citizenship, green card applications, and family reunifications.

Rebecca Sprague is the Community Program Coordinator for CWS Harrisonburg. She provides intensive case management and works to build groups that strengthen refugees’ community support.

Anitha Nyirandatwa is the Refugee Health and Outreach (RHEO)/Medical Liaison Caseworker. She provides health education to refugee-eligible populations, helps newcomers navigate the United States healthcare system, and helps with access to health and mental health services. She enjoys reading and listening to music in her free time.

Sarah Alice Coleman is the School Liaison & ELT Coordinator. She helps connect children and adults to educational opportunities and coordinates volunteers. She has an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University.                                                                             .

Ameera Haydar is the Preferred Community Coordinator. She helps vulnerable refugees achieve self-sufficiency. She speaks Arabic, Kurdish Kurmanjee, and English, and she is practicing Turkish and Spanish. She loves to garden and keeps chicken and sheep.

Hubert Doughty is the Accounting Assistant. He is in charge of processing all financial transactions, managing supplies, and monitoring activities. He enjoys spending time with his grandson and is active in UMC.

Jonitka Hall is the Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA: Coordinator of Financial Literacy and Job Readiness. She organizes newcomers’ cultural orientation, co-organizes volunteers, and builds capacity for our office. Her current passion project is assisting women to become business owners and certified at-home childcare providers for our working parents. Jonitka is a proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. She enjoys exercising, exploring Harrisonburg, and spending time with her 8 godchildren.

Emily Bender is the Development and Communications Coordinator. She coordinates fundraising, events, and community outreach and engagement to promote refugee resettlement services. She has an MA in International Migration from the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies and enjoys hiking and biking with her family in the Shenandoah Valley. ebender@cwsglobal.org

Aemal Yusufzai is the  Employment Specialist. He helps new arrivals and long term clients find jobs and reach their career goals. His aim is to find the talents and guide them to the right path. He believes that every individual who comes to the U.S. has valuable talents and new ideas which can strengthen the community. He is fluent in English, Farsi, Russian, Urdu (Indian dialect) and basic Arabic and Spanish languages. He loves to learn more about cultures and languages.

Thierry Barihinyuza is the Refugee Social Services Employment Program (RSSEP) ESL and Adult Education Specialist. He speaks Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, French, English, and a bit of Lingala.