Polly Akhurst Co-founder and Co-CEO Polly has longstanding experience of working with changemaker education organisations such as UWC, Ashoka and Kaospilots. She is a contributor to the OECD’s Education 2030 project, which focuses on developing competencies in learners to enable them to thrive in a changing world. Polly’s background is in community engagement, strategic development and communications. She is an alumna of UWC Atlantic College and the University of Oxford.  

Polly Akhurst

Co-founder and Co-CEO

Polly has longstanding experience of working with changemaker education organisations such as UWC, Ashoka and Kaospilots. She is a contributor to the OECD’s Education 2030 project, which focuses on developing competencies in learners to enable them to thrive in a changing world. Polly’s background is in community engagement, strategic development and communications. She is an alumna of UWC Atlantic College and the University of Oxford.  

Mia Eskelund Pedersen Co-founder and Co-CEO Working for UWC, and overseeing the organisation's global volunteer network, Mia specialises in student recruitment, volunteer and team management and designing educational courses for social change. While studying Arabic in Syria she co-founded the UWC Syria National Committee, and is also the co-founder of Danish Students Abroad.  Mia is also an alumna of UWC Mahindra College and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Mia Eskelund Pedersen

Co-founder and Co-CEO

Working for UWC, and overseeing the organisation's global volunteer network, Mia specialises in student recruitment, volunteer and team management and designing educational courses for social change. While studying Arabic in Syria she co-founded the UWC Syria National Committee, and is also the co-founder of Danish Students Abroad.  Mia is also an alumna of UWC Mahindra College and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Stuart MacAlpine Director of Education Stuart is the Director of Teaching and Learning and UWC South East Asia in Singapore, where he also leads the learning programme for Service, Outdoor Education, Personal Social Education, Activities and Academics. He is a learning programme designer and school leader with a  passion for the humanist tradition and internationalism, and is a life-long fan of Kurt Hahn and UWC. At Sky School, he oversees and coordinates the curriculum development process. 

Stuart MacAlpine

Director of Education

Stuart is the Director of Teaching and Learning and UWC South East Asia in Singapore, where he also leads the learning programme for Service, Outdoor Education, Personal Social Education, Activities and Academics. He is a learning programme designer and school leader with a  passion for the humanist tradition and internationalism, and is a life-long fan of Kurt Hahn and UWC. At Sky School, he oversees and coordinates the curriculum development process. 

Shruti Tewari Head of Partnerships Shruti Tewari is an IB English teacher and  professional university advisor. She most recently worked at UWCSEA, Singapore for five years. She has also worked in Jakarta, Indonesia, and UWC Mahindra College in India. She’s an Indian national who grew up and studied in the UK, Hong Kong, and India. Shruti believes in education and empowerment, and enjoys working with students, parents, teachers and mentors throughout the application process. As of July 2017 Shruti embarked on a year off to travel, learn, and volunteer.

Shruti Tewari

Head of Partnerships

Shruti Tewari is an IB English teacher and  professional university advisor. She most recently worked at UWCSEA, Singapore for five years. She has also worked in Jakarta, Indonesia, and UWC Mahindra College in India. She’s an Indian national who grew up and studied in the UK, Hong Kong, and India. Shruti believes in education and empowerment, and enjoys working with students, parents, teachers and mentors throughout the application process. As of July 2017 Shruti embarked on a year off to travel, learn, and volunteer.

FACILITATORS

Emerimana Daniel Christian Coordinator and Facilitator - Kakuma Camp, Kenya Daniel moved to Kakuma Refugee Camp from Burundi in 2009, and is a graduate from the Regis University. He has vast experience in working with refugee youth, and is the founder of the URISE Initiative for Africa, a community organisation that works in the field of youth empowerment. He has worked as the Assistant Supervisor with the Jesuit Refugee Service, and an interpreter with the UNHCR’s Resettlement Unit.

Emerimana Daniel Christian

Coordinator and Facilitator - Kakuma Camp, Kenya

Daniel moved to Kakuma Refugee Camp from Burundi in 2009, and is a graduate from the Regis University. He has vast experience in working with refugee youth, and is the founder of the URISE Initiative for Africa, a community organisation that works in the field of youth empowerment. He has worked as the Assistant Supervisor with the Jesuit Refugee Service, and an interpreter with the UNHCR’s Resettlement Unit.

Pascal Zigashane Coordinator and IT Support - Kakuma Camp, Kenya Pascal is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and currently studies Social Work with the Regis University and working for the Jesuit Refugee Services as an IT Assistant, where he provided IT support to the Jesuit World Learning. Programme Pascal is the Executive Director of URISE Initiative for Africa. He has previously worked as a secondary school teacher and outreach coordinator for several organisations in Kakuma.

Pascal Zigashane

Coordinator and IT Support - Kakuma Camp, Kenya

Pascal is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and currently studies Social Work with the Regis University and working for the Jesuit Refugee Services as an IT Assistant, where he provided IT support to the Jesuit World Learning. Programme Pascal is the Executive Director of URISE Initiative for Africa. He has previously worked as a secondary school teacher and outreach coordinator for several organisations in Kakuma.

Aboudi Al-Qattan Facilitator - Amman, Jordan Aboudi is a recent graduate from Babson College, where he focused on social entrepreneurship. He was born in Texas, raised in London, and is originally Palestinian which has sparked his desire to give back to the Arab community. Whilst at Babson, he founded his own Education Start-up called Al-Tareeq, which focuses on providing both private school students and refugees with courses on Entrepreneurship and Leadership.  

Aboudi Al-Qattan

Facilitator - Amman, Jordan

Aboudi is a recent graduate from Babson College, where he focused on social entrepreneurship. He was born in Texas, raised in London, and is originally Palestinian which has sparked his desire to give back to the Arab community. Whilst at Babson, he founded his own Education Start-up called Al-Tareeq, which focuses on providing both private school students and refugees with courses on Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

 

Elissavet Karamichail Facilitator - Athens, Greece Elissavet is an alumna of UWC Mostar and a recent graduate of Leiden University College with a degree in World Politics. She is passionate about the role of education for social justice and her research background focuses on peace and multicultural education as tools for reconciliation and the smooth integration of minorities in the societies they live in.    

Elissavet Karamichail

Facilitator - Athens, Greece

Elissavet is an alumna of UWC Mostar and a recent graduate of Leiden University College with a degree in World Politics. She is passionate about the role of education for social justice and her research background focuses on peace and multicultural education as tools for reconciliation and the smooth integration of minorities in the societies they live in.  

 

Spyros Kasimatis Facilitator - Athens, Greece Spyros has been a teacher since the early '80s and is now supporting teachers to do their invaluable job with confidence, with a sense of accomplishment and  personal fulfilment, and a compelling sense of direction and purpose. He also works as a Counsellor in Child Bereavement and other issues concerning children and youth, their parents, and their caregivers. When faint of heart, he reads Khalil Gibran.  

Spyros Kasimatis

Facilitator - Athens, Greece

Spyros has been a teacher since the early '80s and is now supporting teachers to do their invaluable job with confidence, with a sense of accomplishment and  personal fulfilment, and a compelling sense of direction and purpose. He also works as a Counsellor in Child Bereavement and other issues concerning children and youth, their parents, and their caregivers. When faint of heart, he reads Khalil Gibran.
 

Jacob Warn Online Facilitator Jacob is a teacher, journalist and musician. Passionate about innovative and social responses to the refugee crisis, he has worked in Greece with Be Aware and Share, providing education to asylum-seekers and has developed a number of media and outreach projects to raise awareness about migrant issues. He has also held a number of teaching roles in schools, and is an alumnus of the University of Oxford.

Jacob Warn

Online Facilitator

Jacob is a teacher, journalist and musician. Passionate about innovative and social responses to the refugee crisis, he has worked in Greece with Be Aware and Share, providing education to asylum-seekers and has developed a number of media and outreach projects to raise awareness about migrant issues. He has also held a number of teaching roles in schools, and is an alumnus of the University of Oxford.

Nadine Kamal Online Facilitator Nadine is a secondary science teacher based in Abu Dhabi. She has a BSc in Biology from the University of Waterloo and is currently completing a Masters of Education with the University of Dundee. She has taught across various curricula including the IB and the English national curriculum.  As an educator and mother of four, she believes that every child should have access to twelve years of holistic education, regardless of ethnicity, social status or religious background.  

Nadine Kamal

Online Facilitator

Nadine is a secondary science teacher based in Abu Dhabi. She has a BSc in Biology from the University of Waterloo and is currently completing a Masters of Education with the University of Dundee. She has taught across various curricula including the IB and the English national curriculum.  As an educator and mother of four, she believes that every child should have access to twelve years of holistic education, regardless of ethnicity, social status or religious background.  

 

ADVISORS

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius Christer is the principal at Kaospilot, a renowned disruptor in higher education that develops leadership and fosters entrepreneurship. For more than 15 years, Christer has been working in the fields of leadership, strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. He has lectured and advised companies on 5 continents, and worked in more than 25 countries for private companies, NGOs and public organisations alike.

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius

Christer is the principal at Kaospilot, a renowned disruptor in higher education that develops leadership and fosters entrepreneurship. For more than 15 years, Christer has been working in the fields of leadership, strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. He has lectured and advised companies on 5 continents, and worked in more than 25 countries for private companies, NGOs and public organisations alike.

Dima AlMekdad Dima AlMekdad is a Syrian London based scientist pursuing a PhD in Bioanalysis research at King’s College London, and working at LGC as a research analyst. Parallel to her scientific career, Dima is actively engaged in education and cultural projects. She volunteers as Jusoor's London Ambassador and as a member of UWC Syrian National Committee. Dima is also a co-founder of Qisetna: Talking Syria. 

Dima AlMekdad

Dima AlMekdad is a Syrian London based scientist pursuing a PhD in Bioanalysis research at King’s College London, and working at LGC as a research analyst. Parallel to her scientific career, Dima is actively engaged in education and cultural projects. She volunteers as Jusoor's London Ambassador and as a member of UWC Syrian National Committee. Dima is also a co-founder of Qisetna: Talking Syria

Sara Heinrich Sara is a coach at Teach for Sweden, where she supports leaders in the classroom to ensure that every child can design their own future, regardless of their socio-economic background. Previously, she managed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s work with schools & colleges and informal education. She has also taught English at Lister Community School, Newham, London, and remains an active Teach First ambassador.

Sara Heinrich

Sara is a coach at Teach for Sweden, where she supports leaders in the classroom to ensure that every child can design their own future, regardless of their socio-economic background. Previously, she managed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s work with schools & colleges and informal education. She has also taught English at Lister Community School, Newham, London, and remains an active Teach First ambassador.

Maya Alkateb-Chami Maya Alkateb-Chami is the Director of Jusoor, a nonprofit that helps Syria through education, and the founder of the Community Arts Initiative. Previously, she ran Al Makan Art Association and also consulted on NGO capacity building and youth engagement. She holds an MSc in Education from Indiana University Bloomington and a BA in Political Science from Damascus University.

Maya Alkateb-Chami

Maya Alkateb-Chami is the Director of Jusoor, a nonprofit that helps Syria through education, and the founder of the Community Arts Initiative. Previously, she ran Al Makan Art Association and also consulted on NGO capacity building and youth engagement. She holds an MSc in Education from Indiana University Bloomington and a BA in Political Science from Damascus University.

Sari Samakie Sari is a Syrian, currently studying at Georgetown University. He is the Co-founder of Fikra 3al Mashi, an educational nonprofit working with urban refugees and underprivileged students, he is also a photographer and a speaker on the importance of education, tolerance and forgiveness. In Syria, Sari was apprehended, abducted and taken out of school for three years, and is the 2016 winner of the Kurt Hahn Prize.

Sari Samakie

Sari is a Syrian, currently studying at Georgetown University. He is the Co-founder of Fikra 3al Mashi, an educational nonprofit working with urban refugees and underprivileged students, he is also a photographer and a speaker on the importance of education, tolerance and forgiveness. In Syria, Sari was apprehended, abducted and taken out of school for three years, and is the 2016 winner of the Kurt Hahn Prize.

Dan Keyworth Dan is the Director for Customer Engagement at Blackbaud, where he works with 500 schools, universities and foundations towards utilising social good technology, data and strategies to achieve successful outcomes and impact.  Previously, Dan was part of the Development Office Executive Team at the University of Oxford. Dan is also a Trustee of Future First Global, a charity which works with governments and schools to support the growth of high school alumni networks.

Dan Keyworth

Dan is the Director for Customer Engagement at Blackbaud, where he works with 500 schools, universities and foundations towards utilising social good technology, data and strategies to achieve successful outcomes and impact.  Previously, Dan was part of the Development Office Executive Team at the University of Oxford. Dan is also a Trustee of Future First Global, a charity which works with governments and schools to support the growth of high school alumni networks.

Justin Tata Justin Tata is trained as an architect, an urban planner, and a lecturer. He heads up the Department of Architecture at the University of Juba, South Sudan. Tata is a graduate of UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway; College of the Atlantic in Maine; and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, and a former student of International Honours Cities Programs. He is also the chair of UWC South Sudan, and he hopes to rise and mentor the younger generation of ambitious students.  

Justin Tata

Justin Tata is trained as an architect, an urban planner, and a lecturer. He heads up the Department of Architecture at the University of Juba, South Sudan. Tata is a graduate of UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway; College of the Atlantic in Maine; and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, and a former student of International Honours Cities Programs. He is also the chair of UWC South Sudan, and he hopes to rise and mentor the younger generation of ambitious students.

 

 

VOLUNTEERS

Frances Howell Communications Frances is an alum of UWC Atlantic College and recently graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a degree in Arabic and History. She is passionate about innovative forms of education, community-building and social change. Frances has previously worked with non-profits including VSO, Oxfam, UWC International and Bait al Karama, in research, policy, advocacy, and interpreting.

Frances Howell

Communications

Frances is an alum of UWC Atlantic College and recently graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a degree in Arabic and History. She is passionate about innovative forms of education, community-building and social change. Frances has previously worked with non-profits including VSO, Oxfam, UWC International and Bait al Karama, in research, policy, advocacy, and interpreting.

Victoria Throen Longhi Events and Campaigns Victoria is an alumna from UWC Dilijan College with a passion for education and innovations that empower anybody to take ownership of their learning. She is currently studying philosophy at UCL and is interested in how the subject can become more cherished in school curriculums. Victoria has learned from engaging with Trampoline House, the Danish Red Cross, and Vanastree Seed Saving Collective.

Victoria Throen Longhi

Events and Campaigns

Victoria is an alumna from UWC Dilijan College with a passion for education and innovations that empower anybody to take ownership of their learning. She is currently studying philosophy at UCL and is interested in how the subject can become more cherished in school curriculums. Victoria has learned from engaging with Trampoline House, the Danish Red Cross, and Vanastree Seed Saving Collective.

Eleanor Mackenzie-Smith Translation Eleanor is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh, where she obtained an MA in Arabic and Spanish. Eleanor spent her year abroad in Cairo, and also set up a language exchange for Syrian refugees in Edinburgh. Having previously worked in Beirut, Eleanor wants to contribute to the economic growth and development of the Arab world, and is particularly interested in the fields of education and communication.

Eleanor Mackenzie-Smith

Translation

Eleanor is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh, where she obtained an MA in Arabic and Spanish. Eleanor spent her year abroad in Cairo, and also set up a language exchange for Syrian refugees in Edinburgh. Having previously worked in Beirut, Eleanor wants to contribute to the economic growth and development of the Arab world, and is particularly interested in the fields of education and communication.

Savita Ragoonanan Fundraising Savita is an aspiring travel blogger from the islands Trinidad & Tobago. She is formerly a Business Intelligence expert. She holds a M.B.A from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Management from the University of the West Indies. This is her first volunteer experience and she wants to make a positive contribution to the education of refugees.    

Savita Ragoonanan

Fundraising

Savita is an aspiring travel blogger from the islands Trinidad & Tobago. She is formerly a Business Intelligence expert. She holds a M.B.A from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Management from the University of the West Indies. This is her first volunteer experience and she wants to make a positive contribution to the education of refugees.

 

 

Rinad Salkham Translation and research Rinad, a recent alumna of UWC Atlantic College, is currently a student at Brown University, where she studies Economics and Middle East Studies. She strongly believes in the importance of working to assimilate refugees into the societies they live in, especially through education. She has worked a lot with refugees, helping them with their English skills, while she was a volunteer in STAR and OASIS in the UK .

Rinad Salkham

Translation and research

Rinad, a recent alumna of UWC Atlantic College, is currently a student at Brown University, where she studies Economics and Middle East Studies. She strongly believes in the importance of working to assimilate refugees into the societies they live in, especially through education. She has worked a lot with refugees, helping them with their English skills, while she was a volunteer in STAR and OASIS in the UK

.

Aurélien Pradier Fundraising Aurélien is a graduate student at the University of Cape Town, specializing in questions of transitional justice and human rights. He holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from UCT and an associate degree in Business and Social Administration from the University of Western Britany. By volunteering for Sky School, he hopes to make a modest contribution to solving one of the issues related to international migration politics.

Aurélien Pradier

Fundraising

Aurélien is a graduate student at the University of Cape Town, specializing in
questions of transitional justice and human rights. He holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from UCT and an associate degree in Business and Social Administration from the University of Western Britany. By volunteering for Sky School, he hopes to make a modest contribution to solving one of the issues related
to international migration politics.

Teo Firpo Impact and Evaluation Teo is a researcher at Nesta – the UK’s Innovation Foundation – where he works on the evaluation of public policies in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. He is also interested in education, having previously worked at the OECD’s Education directorate, and volunteered for education nonprofits such as ReachOut UK. Teo is an alumnus of UWC Pearson College and Sciences Po Paris. 

Teo Firpo

Impact and Evaluation

Teo is a researcher at Nesta – the UK’s Innovation Foundation – where he works on the evaluation of public policies in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. He is also interested in education, having previously worked at the OECD’s Education directorate, and volunteered for education nonprofits such as ReachOut UK. Teo is an alumnus of UWC Pearson College and Sciences Po Paris.