Meet the Team

our dedicated team is running samos volunteers from on the ground in greece, and 'behind the scenes' from the netherlands, spain, the uk and the usa. Meet them below.

Alba Chenard, President

Age: 29

Nationality: Spanish-French 

Background: Nurse 

Joined SV: March 2016

"I was very concerned seeing the refugee situation worsen without any reaction from the governments and decided to join SV and realised how little contributions can make a big difference."

Bogdan Andrei, Project Co-ordinator

Age: 32

Nationality: Romanian 

Background: International Relations 

Joined SV: February 2016

"'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' - Margaret Mead."

Jasmine Doust, Vice-President

Age: 23

Nationality: British

Background: Law and Human Rights

Joined SV: June 2016

"Amid the chaos is a group of individuals fighting to preserve the dignity, sanity and welfare of those who have faced so much ill-treatment and adversity. I have witnessed such resilience in both refugees and volunteers alike; all with the common goal of bettering the situations of those who are in crisis." 

Andrew Frania, Project Support

Age: 31

Nationality: Global Citizen (USA) 

Background: Iraq War Veteran 

Joined SV: December 2015

"'Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.' - Ralph Waldo Emerson."

Giulia Cicoli, Volunteer Co-ordinator & Recruitment

Age: 31

Nationality: Italian 

Background: Teaching

Joined SV: March 2016

"I want to be on the right side of history." 

Donal Brady, Education Co-ordinator

Age: 25

Nationality: Irish

Background: Teaching English as a Foreign Language 

Joined SV: December 2016

"Harrowed by various online articles I had read in October 2014, I decided to embark on a three week volunteering trip to see for myself what life inside a European refugee camp was really like.
I extended my trip to nine months. It seemed that I went to Samos to see the conditions but stayed for the people; both those I worked towards helping and alongside."

Natalia Karacaoglu, Community Center Supervisor

Age: 31

Nationality: New Zealand 

Background: Teaching English as a Foreign Language 

Joined SV: October 2016

"I watched the refugee crisis develop and worsen for four years while I lived in Turkey. When I left Istanbul in late 2016 due to the worsening political situation, I decided it was time to take direct action. My grandparents were refugees after WW2 and I am committed to doing everything I can to avoid the same mistakes and suffering happening again."

Jonathan Ayew, Warehouse Supervisor & New Arrivals

Age: 22

Nationality: Burundian

Background: Business & Economics 

Joined SV: April 2016

"Samos Volunteers is an organization that works on the Greek island of Samos. We provide an emergency response for the new arrivals to the island, education for the people who live in the hot-spot (camp) and the shelters, and many other activities. I’m a volunteer because I try to change the situations of people who have lost hope. I understand very well how they feel. I’m a volunteer because if we don’t do it, no one will do it. We can change a person's life and the situations change you too because as human being on earth I think it is our responsibility to help others."

Anouk Theunissen, Fundraising & Marketing

Age: 24

Nationality: Dutch

Background: Anthropology

Joined SV: March 2017

"The Dalai Llama was right when he said, 'if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito'".    

Graham McMillan, Warehouse Supervisor & New Arrivals

Age: 22

Nationality: American

Background: International Relations

Joined SV: June 2017

"I came to understand better a crisis I had studied at school. Once I got here, I saw how human all the statistics really were, and the positive impact I could make just by learning a new name each day."

Suzie Heinemann, Adult Education  

Nationality: British

Background: English Language Teacher

Joined SV: May 2016

"When I am in class at Alpha, I often think of Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire), the Scottish Olympic athlete. He said he feels God's pleasure when he runs. I feel God's pleasure when I teach the refugees. I believe this is what God has called me to do."

Joel Pearce, Legal Advice & Marketing

Age: 32

Nationality: New Zealand

Background: Lawyer, focused on dispute resolution

Joined SV: October 2016

"I came to Samos from Istanbul when the crisis became impossible to ignore any more. I am happy to get the opportunity to make a small difference and help improve conditions for people, at an individual level, as well as work alongside such a dedicated and passionate team."

Sarah Ruzek, Children's Activity Co-ordinator

Age: 30

Nationality: American

Background: Speech Therapy & Teaching

Joined SV: January 2016

"I’m here to put my beliefs into action by caring and loving all people; I want refugees to know that they matter."

Dan Chapman, Project Support

Age: 19

Nationality: British

Background: Social Work

Joined SV: March 2017

"I came to Samos because I wanted to show the refugees arriving in Europe that some people do care even if the authorities don't."

Sabine Klasen, Media & Communications

Age: 28

Nationality: German

Background: Political Science 

Joined SV: June 2017

"I wanted to understand what is really happening on the ground, on the shores of our praised European Union, and to directly support people during their difficult journey into a new life in Europe."

 

Majida Ali, Child Education

Age: 40

Nationality: Palestinian

Background: Journalism 

Joined SV: April 2016

"I wanted to open their eyes to a new life after that horrible journey. I am trying to help them look to the future."

Brodie Cameron, Media & Communications

Age: 20

Nationality: British

Background: Engineering Student 

Joined SV: July 2017

"I worked with Re-act in Scotland, a charity that sent donations to Samos. Then through that I began working with families (mostly kids) that had come to Edinburgh, and wanted to come over and see what was happening on Samos."