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
Hadeel Haider, Arabic Speaking 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.”
Nyayual Tut, Nuer Speaking Family Educator
Nyayual Tut was born in South Sudan and was resettled to the United States at twelve years old. In addition to English, she reads, speaks, and writes in Nuer. In 2012, she graduated from University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in Children and Family Studies. She then received her Master’s degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Bellevue University in 2019. Nyayual’s greatest achievement is being a first time homeowner. In her freetime, she enjoys reading, exercising, and cooking.
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.”
Maryan Nur, Somali Speaking Family Educator
Maryan Nur was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She speaks Somali and English and completed high school at Granite Park Junior High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Maryan’s greatest accomplishment is working with her community through casework. She greatly enjoys helping break the language barrier and providing services families need. Maryan also enjoys watching K-Drama Movies and reading fiction books.
Melody Beethan was born in Pe Ta Kah, Burma and was placed into a camp in Thailand at 11 years old. She speaks Karen and Burmese. In 2007, she came to the United States and then graduated from Omaha South High School. Melody also took classes at Metro Community College for business management. Her greatest accomplishment is being a mom to her son and buying her first home! Melody enjoys going for evening walks by the lake with family and playing tennis with her nieces.
Grace was born in Uganda and speaks Kiswahili, Kirundi, and Kinyarwanda. She was resettled to the United States at 15 years old. Grace attended Bryan High School and currently studies Social Work at Metro Community College. Her greatest achievement is earning a full ride scholarship. Grace loves to hike and go out with her sisters.