Meet the team: Our Field 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 twenty to thirty volunteers each week, contributing both remotely and on-the-ground, 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.

Manuela Vlahaki Cepeda, Project Coordinator

Manuela is Greek-Colombian, born in Bulgaria. With a background in Sociology-Anthropology, she continued her studies with a Master degree in International Relations & Humanitarian Action in Belgium. With professional experience in project coordination, administration, education and intercultural mediation, she loves volunteering and has collaborated with diverse organizations. She speaks Greek, Spanish, French, English and Bulgarian.

Ismini Mathioudaki, Lawyer

Ismini Mathioudaki is a graduate of Political Sciences from Panteion University of Athens, and a graduate of Law from Nanterre University of Paris. She has also completed her LLM in Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam, whereas she also works as a researcher in the field of refugee law. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of refugee and European law, and she is a certified lawyer of the Bar of Athens. She is fluent in English and French, and speaks Spanish and Italian.

Tony Haouam, ATLAS Facilitator

After studying in Paris and receiving a Masters degree in Political Science and Communications at Sorbonne University, and then also in studying Galatasary in Turkey, Tony Haouam entered NYU to specialize in instructing courses on race and gender. He was also the President of the Queer People of Color Association where he organized several workshops on the intersection between sexuality and systemic racism. Tony Haouam is the head of the Pedagogical Commission of Migr’ENS; a refugee aid organization that teaches French to asylum-seekers, and helps them deal with the French administration and legal system. Himself, the son of an asylum-seeker in France, speaks Arabic, French, English and Spanish.

Marleno Nika, Greek Teacher

Born from a family of Albanian immigrants, Marleno, one of our Greek teachers at the Orange House, lives in Athens, where he studies Greek Language and Linguistics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In the last years, he has been committed to teaching and a teacher of language and literature to children, adolescents and adults. He also works as an artist and coordinator with other artists in organizations and festivals. He speaks Greek, Albanian, English and French.

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.