Meet the team:

United with volunteers from around the world, Zaatar’s guiding purpose is to assist refugees who are searching for a safe haven – peace and respite from war.

We are an international and local team with various personal and professional backgrounds, speaking many languages and with a background in refugee-related work. Our co-founders are both Greek citizens.

With approximately fifteen volunteers each week we work in conjunction with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), informal settlements, and an organisation operating a local warehouse of donated goods to deliver services in Athens and the Attica region.

Marina Liakis, Founder & Director


Marina is a French-Greek citizen and serves as Za'atar NGO's Director. After studying Law and Communications in Paris and New York City, Marina began a career in humanitarian work. During her professional career, she has worked at a variety of international organizations including the United Nations and The French Embassy. In 2016, after volunteering at the Port of Piraeus with refugees arriving in Athens, she decided to found Za'atar NGO. Marina now serves as the Director of Za'atar. She speaks Arabic, English, French, Greek, and Spanish.

Hasan Hmeydan, Co-Founder


Hasan was born in Edleb, Syria. He has spent most of his life in Athens, Greece, and now works in the HR department of a multinational company. After meeting Marina while volunteering to support refugees arriving at Athens’ port, Hasan assisted with the legal side of setting up Za'atar as an official NGO. He now handles finances for Za'atar and advises on strategic planning. He speaks Arabic, English, and Greek.

David Cotton, Operations Director


David is an American-Estonian citizen from Anchorage, Alaska. After serving as a volunteer at The Orange House in April 2017, David continued to assist with fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and strategic planning on a remote basis throughout 2017. He studied Politics in Los Angeles before building a diverse professional background in law, politics, business, and real estate. David is now Za'atar's Operations Director and directs Project Layali: a new social enterprise in Greece. He speaks English and Greek.

Léa György, Volunteer Recruitment Manager


Léa is from Paris, France. She studied HR and Communications in Paris and Montreal before dedicating herself to recruitment. She has more than 4 years of experience recruiting junior and senior positions across different industries on a global level. She has worked for top recruitment companies in Paris, London, and Barcelona. Léa now interviews volunteer candidates interested in contributing their time to Za'atar. She speaks French, Spanish and English.

Rinki Goswami, Communications Manager


Rinki is from the United States and is a current medical school student. After volunteering at Za'atar’s Orange House, She continues to assist with managing the Orange House on a remote basis. Rinki helps to organize the volunteer recruitment process, respond to general inquiries, and assist with special projects.

Mathilde, Interviewer


Mathilde is a psychologist based in Paris, France. After studying at Institut Catholique de Paris, she decided to focus on psychology work in prisons. She has been
involved in Za'atar NGO since its inception providing support with a variety of tasks. She advises the team on how to handle particularly vulnerable cases and now focuses on assisting with interviewing volunteer applicants.

Tommaso Segantini, Special Projects


Tommaso, was born in Milan, Italy, and grew up in Brussels, Belgium. After completing a Bachelor in International Studies in The Hague, Holland, in 2017, he volunteered for a local NGO in the distressing context of Calais, France, for four months. In February 2018, he joined Za'atar’s team in Athens as a volunteer. Currently, he helps the organization on a remote basis with volunteer recruitment and other projects.  He is doing an online MA program in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the University of London whilst working as an intern at the UNHCR in Geneva, Switzerland.

Elodie Doze, Women's Shelter Manager


Elodie is a 29 year old French citizen from Aix-en-Provence. After studying public law and obtaining her PhD in environmental law, she got involved in Mediterranean coastal zones preservation and worked several years for the French Coastal Conservatory and the United Nations Programme for Environment (UNEP MAP/PAP RAC). After twice volunteering at the Orange House in early 2018, she joined Za'atar's team full-time in fall 2018. She speaks French and English.

Join the Team:

Between teachers, management assistance, and generalists, our team is run almost entirely by volunteers. At any given time, we are working with 25 - 50 volunteers.

We need your help.

Za'atar relies on financial support from private donors.

Za'atar NGO is a registered non-profit under Greek law. In Greek, the organization is registered as "ΖΑΑΤΑΡ ΑΣΤΙΚΗ ΜΗ ΚΕΡΔΟΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ." Registration Number: 140646901000.

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