Restoring Dignity Staff
Hannah Vlach, Founder and Executive Director
Hannah Vlach is a native of Omaha and a graduate of the Social Work program at Creighton University (BSW ’09). She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Arts in Communication at Johns Hopkins University. In 2012, Hannah started Restoring Dignity as an all volunteer run charity, with a mission of bringing household items and furniture to refugee families in significant need. In 2018, Restoring Dignity incorporated as a non-profit and received official IRS 501(c)3 status, with Hannah becoming the organization’s first Executive Director. Since 2018, Hannah has expanded the organization in all directions, taking it from a charity that did occasional home-makeovers, to an organization that provides quality supportive services to Omaha’s refugee community. Outside of Restoring Dignity, Hannah’s hobbies include playing guitar, taking care of houseplants, walking while listening to music and bike riding with her kids. To read more about how Restoring Dignity got started, click here.
“We are able to tackle real problems and find tangible solutions that lessen unnecessary suffering among resettled families.”
Paw Bway Htoo, Welcome Home Program Director
Paw Bway Htoo was born in Thailand in a refugee camp, and was resettled to the USA when she was fourteen years old. She speaks two languages, in addition to English: Karen and Burmese. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Paw Bway was recently chosen as one of the Extraordinary and Powerful Women of 2022 by the Karen Society of Nebraska. She graduated with her Master’s in Public Health from Concordia University. Paw Bway Htoo’s greatest accomplishments include being a first generation college graduate and raising her beautiful daughter (all while working full-time!).
“This organization has a heart for refugees. Everyone on the team genuinely cares about refugees and wants them to be respected and treated with dignity, even if they don’t speak English or don’t know their rights here. Everyone tries to provide refugees with a quality of life by providing education and resources.”
-Paw Bway Htoo
Chloe Ray, Director of Operations
Chloe Ray was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated with her undergraduate degree in International Studies, Human Rights, and Non Profit Management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Chloe started interning for Restoring Dignity after she was exposed to housing injustices that were occurring to the refugee community in Omaha. Her hobbies are painting, reading, and watching documentaries.
“I deeply enjoy the work I do here, and am passionate about the mission.”
Ester Paw, Karen/Burmese Speaking Family Educator
Ester Paw was born in Huay Kalok, a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Her family was resettled to the United States in 2008 and Ester went on to graduate from South High School. She later completed her Bachelor’s degree of Science in Public Health Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In addition to English, Ester speaks Karen and some Burmese. Ester’s greatest accomplishments include: graduating from post-secondary education, buying a house, and having the opportunity to raise a beautiful daughter in a community where everyone is loving and caring. Her hobbies include: cooking for family and friends, catching an evening sunset in the summertime and watching TEDx talks on YouTube.
“Restoring Dignity has wonderful, diverse staff members who genuinely work to provide direct services for the needs identified in Omaha’s refugee community and help families navigate the resources that are available in Omaha.”
Sumiran Diyali Kochari, Nepali Speaking Family Educator
Sumiran Diyali Kochari was born in Bhutan and later moved and studied in both Nepal and India. She received her Bachelor’s in Humanities in 2009. While in India, she worked as a missionary and headmistresses at a school for three years. Sumiran was resettled to the USA in 2017. She speaks six languages, including English: Nepali, Hindi, Assamese, Nagamese and Bengali. Sumiran loves music and is an internationally famous singer in the Nepali community (check out her amazing music on YouTube!). Her greatest accomplishments are: starting a restaurant, obtaining a good, full-time job, and recording an international music video!
“I am able to help the community in many ways, and get to know many people. I like being recognized by people as a person who can help them in some way.”
-Sumiran Diyali Kochari
Jacques Musavyimana, Housing Advocate
Jacques Musavyimana was born in Rwanda and was resettled to the United States in 2009. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and graduated with a degree in Political Science. He went on to obtain his Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Jacques speaks three languages, in addition to English: Kiswahili, Kirundi, and Kinyarwanda. His greatest accomplishment is that he was the first in his family to graduate from college. Jacques’ hobbies include reading, running and managing an incredible podcast called “Refugee Beyond Name.”
“This organization and staff care from the heart. When we say that we are going to help a family, we do!”
Hadeel Haider, Family Educator
Hadeel Haider was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, and graduated with her accounting diploma. Her family was resettled as refugees to the USA on January 26th, 2009. In addition to English, Hadeel speaks Arabic. Her greatest accomplishment is raising her two sons who have become professionals: one son graduated from medical school and the other is pursuing his PhD in physics. Hadeel recently received a distinguished award for her selfless interpretation services and commitment to community. Her main hobby is Zumba, which she not only practices but teaches as well.
“This is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and providing resources to the refugee population, helping them assimilate into their new home in the USA. RD comprehensively addresses all aspects and challenges that are associated with families and individuals in the community, with an atmosphere of compassion, respect and honesty. It adopts a perspective that promotes and values diversity, in such a friendly approach, yet encourages every single client to be a positive and valuable member of the Omaha community.”
Htoo Shee, Furniture Bank & Window A/C Drive Assistant
Htoo Shee’s family is from Burma, but he was born in a Thai refugee camp. He and his family were resettled to the USA in 2009. Htoo Shee is currently a high school student in Omaha and is doing well in all his classes. He enjoys playing video games, working out and building computers. Htoo Shee’s greatest accomplishment has been getting through high school smoothly.
“We’re able to help people who are in need of help. What Restoring Dignity does is very meaningful to me, because I know what it’s like to come to a new country with little knowledge of the new environment.”
Eh Ka Lu Htoo, Furniture Bank Warehouse Assistant
Eh Ka Lu Htoo was born in Thailand, in the Mae La refugee camp (also known as Beh Klaw). In 2010, his family was chosen to be resettled to Omaha, Nebraska. Eh Ka Lu graduated from Omaha Benson High School, and speaks three languages: Karen, Burmese and English. His greatest accomplishment is graduating from high school. Eh Ka Lu’s hobbies include: cutting hair, taking his dogs to the park, working out and creating videos for his puppy’s TikTok channel (check out his amazing TikTok channel here).
“At Restoring Dignity, I get to work with an amazing team and feel welcomed. I love working here because I get to help a lot of families.”
-Eh KaLu Htoo
Kmaw Klay, Furniture Bank & Window A/C Drive Assistant
Kmaw Klay was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the United States in 2009. He speaks Poe Karen, in addition to English. Kmaw is currently a student at Benson Magnet School, studying marketing and business. His hobbies include: riding a skateboard, gaming and styling his outfits.
“What I love about Restoring Dignity are the people. I love how kind everyone is!”
Chit Thel Oo was born in Burma and was resettled to the USA in 2011. She speaks fluent English, Karen and Burmese. Chit Thel Oo is currently pursuing a general education degree in human services at Metropolitan Community College, and is working towards obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Previously, she worked at the Omaha Public Schools TAC building as a Family Literacy Parent Liaison and also worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Chit Thel Oo’s greatest accomplishment is being a first generation college student! Her hobbies include: spending time outdoors with family, friends and her dog. She also enjoys cooking for her family.
“Restoring Dignity has made it possible for me to contribute as a productive member of the community. I admire Restoring Dignity’s belief that through empowerment, education, and advocacy partnerships, something can and should be done to satisfy the needs of Omaha’s refugee population.”
-Chit Thel Oo
Bridget Perry, Volunteer Coordinator
Bridget is honored to join the Restoring Dignity team as Volunteer Coordinator! As a volunteer at Restoring Dignity for the last year, she has seen how the staff and volunteers put their hearts into welcoming the refugee community in Omaha and setting them up for success in their new homes. Bridget is excited to continue to grow with Restoring Dignity and to work with all the amazing volunteers who keep the organization running.
Bridget has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Louis University. Her professional background includes work in supply chain management, procurement and subcontract management. She has also been teaching yoga for over 10 years. Bridget loves spending time with her husband and their two kids, practicing yoga, running, reading, baking and gardening.
“I love that Restoring Dignity continues to grow by adding new classes, programs and services to continue improving lives in our community.”