Bert graduated from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Humanities before earning his Master’s in Leading Innovation and Change from York St John University in the UK.

He began a career in community development with the US Peace Corps as a cross-cultural trainer in the 90’s, then worked in education with Canada’s York University and World Education in Myanmar. He was an Operation Manager for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Tsunami Disaster Recovery Program in 2006.

Before spearheading a humanitarian project with EIF, Bert led the United Nations’ Security Team in Gaziantep, Turkey, coordinating cross-border assistance for the displaced population in Syria.

Jerri Moss left behind a 25-year corporate career in 2003. For the past 14 years, she has lived and worked in 4 countries. Today she calls Istanbul, a city full of refugees, home. Though she has worked with rural Chinese, poor students in South Korea and multi-national students in Thailand, the heartbreak and hopelessness of displaced people in Turkey touched her heart in a way the others had not. While exploring ways she might help, she reconnected with EIFs founder, Bert, in Istanbul. Listening to his heartfelt concern for the future of Syrians and others displaced by war and seeing his determination to offer long-term hope to those in need, Jerri knew she’d finally found a place where her experience might make a difference.

“Today’s world has more displaced individuals than at any point in history. The future can be lost to these people or can be restored through hope, education and livelihood development. If I can play even a small role in that, I will consider my small efforts worthwhile.”

Lorena Rios, a freelance journalist based in Istanbul since 2013, covers Syrian refugees in Turkey. She has followed Syrians struggling to reconstruct their lives in Europe, focusing in particular on employment, education, trauma, and integration.

Since his graduation in 2013 from Germany’s Dortmund University, Felix Kleymann has worked as a photographer in projects all over the world. Previously focusing on social injustice, for example on the pacification process in Rio de Janeiro, his ‘Escaping Death: Syrian Refugees’ series became a rewarding experience which quickly justified the dangers involved.

“I immersed myself, posing as a refugee. I never identified as a photojournalist. So, I travelled the same exhausting way as all the refugees. I think crossing the sea, being on that rubber boat, makes this story so special. I was documenting the subjects, but I was also the subject myself.”

Abdaalwahab fled Syria in 2011 at the height of war in Raqqa. He joined Danish Refugee Council in Turkey as a Protection Officer helping Syrian Refugees in shelters in South-eastern border of Turkey. Abdaalwahab had a chance to collaborate refugee resettlement program with the United Nations where he met Bert, the EIF founder, who asked him to volunteer for the organization. Abdaalwahab will contribute his skill-set in data collection and analysis with EIF throughout the course of program development phase.