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Meet KCET Local Hero Nominee: Meymuna Hussein-Cattan

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Meymuna Hussein-Cattan

Title: Co-Founder & Executive Director

Organization: The Tiyya Foundation

Website: https://www.tiyya.org/

“Meymuna and her family have dedicated their lives to supporting and raising awareness about multicultural refugee communities in Orange County, founding Tiyya, a powerful nonprofit, if not the only one in Southern California, that is providing assistance and accommodation to individual refugees and families for the past seven years. Meaning ‘my love’ in Oromo, the language of Ethiopia, Meymuna should be credited with how much she has grown this nonprofits and the impact she is making on the community.”

                          Marium Mohuidden, Nominator
                          Lori Margaret, Co-Nominator


  • Meymuna Hussein-Cattan is an Ethiopian refugee, who came to Southern California in 1984 after her father had resettled here the previous year. Born in an Ethiopian refugee camp in Somalia in 1980; her parents fled Ethiopia in the early 1970s due to civil war.
  • Witnessing how long it took her parents to feel at home in America, she was inspired to make it easier for other families. Volunteered in assisting newcomers with the challenging process of resettling for over a decade.
  • With her mother, Owliya Dima, co-founded The Tiyya Foundation in 2010, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing community support for families of refugees, low-income immigrants, and displaced Americans in the Orange County and Greater Los Angeles regions.
  • Based in Orange County, The Tiyya Foundation, has provided assistance and accommodations to hundreds of individual refugees and families. Through a team of more than 150 volunteers and programs such as youth soccer camp, diaper drives, school tutoring, workforce training and marriage and family therapy. Hopes to expand Tiyya into Los Angeles and San Diego Counties.
  • Tiyya has launched “Flavors From Afar” - a Refugee Catering Service offering Afghan, Iraqi, Somali and Syrian meals, thereby supporting refugee chefs, helping them get home cooking licenses and connected them to customers.
  • Received her BA in Social Sciences from the University of California, Irvine; MA in Organizational Management, Antioch University; Certificate in Administration and Grant Writing, Cal State Dominguez.

More on Meymuna and The Tiyya Foundation:
LA Times: Refugee chefs work in culinary arts with help from a Santa Ana nonprofit                   

Your Zen Mama: Folks We Love with Meymuna Hussein-Cattan from the Tiyya Foundation           

Saute Magazine: Finding Home at Tiyya Foundation’s Flavors From Afar

Hello Giggles: The founder of Tiyya Foundation shares how the organization helps refugees on World Refugee Day and every day

Tiyya YouTube channel

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