The work, the competence in the field and the integrity of Raquel Herzog convinced us. We therefore decided to contribute, contribute our competences and contacts and to support the professionalism and ensure the transparency of SAO. We, including the Manager, all work voluntarily. SAO is sustainable – we do not give up quickly.

Raquel Herzog

Founder / Head of Field

Susan Jacxsens


Marianne Läderach


Claudia Colic

Finances | Fundraising


Jelscha Dietrich

Head of Administration

+41 78 825 80 85

Tina Ackermann


Annick Girardier

Interface GR

Raquel Herzog

Head of Operations


They are reliable, smart, good communicators, resilient – and very creative problem-solvers: the women, on a mission for «SAO – women for displaced women».

Tereza Lyssiotis

Field Director, Greece

Tereza is a Communications and Crisis Management consultant. She started working as a journalist in Cyprus in 1990. Ten years later she worked at the banking and financial sectors in Greece. Since 2009 she works as a project manager for corporate programs and campaigns. She started volunteering in December 2015 in Athens and decided that she wished to continue working full time for people who are affected by armed conflict and to assist in a humanitarian crisis that has created challenges for the whole of Europe.  She has obtained her MSc in European Studies at the LSE and her BA in Political Science at Brandeis University, Massachusetts.

Sonia Andreu

Manager Bashira Centre Lesvos

Sonia, originally from Alicante, Spain, had her previous work and academic experience focused on translation, marketing with a special focus on communication, social media and event management. She also has a long history in volunteering and working in human rights organisations and was a leading member of the coordination team for an international forum focusing on «transformations and social alternatives in the Mediterranean». Sonia decided to move to the humanitarian sector, where she has become a positive force empowering displaced women. She is interested in new ideas, ready to move outside her comfort zone and is pleased to put these qualities in the service of women whose everyday life is characterised by hopelessness.


Eleftheria Anthi

Deputy Manager Amina Centre, Athens

Eleftheria is an Integrative Counselling Psychologist, with extended experience in multicultural counselling and women empowerment. She has a strong background of humanitarian work and volunteerism in several NGOs, which reflects both her professional training and her personal values. She started working with immigrants and refugees in Greece in 2010 She is a big fan of psychosocial support groups and the therapeutic use of art in dealing with psychological trauma.

Rachel Ellis

Deputy Manager, Bashira Centre, Lesvos

Rachel is a human rights and conflict prevention postgraduate, specialising in international project management and coordination. She has lived in several European countries and started her career focusing on humanitarian assistance, gender issues and the rights of the child. After nearly four years working in political communications in the UK, several global political shifts reignited her commitment to solidarity and human rights activism. She moved to Lesvos in early 2017, where she has worked ever since, focusing on the empowerment of vulnerable populations.

Chrysa Papadopoulou

Psychologist, Bashira Centre, Lesvos

Chrysa has been working as a psychologist since 2009 mostly with vulnerable populations from different cultural backgrounds. Most recently, she has specialised in interventions for people who have experienced social trauma, namely people who have been affected by war and persecution. Since 2016 she has been working on Lesvos with different NGOs supporting the refugee population in community-based projects focusing on empowerment and integration.  

Evdoxia Moutaftsi

Cultural Integration and Administration, Lesvos

Evdoxia worked as a teacher with orientation to recreational activities and support of children, mainly  through theatrical game. She is always active as an artist and a performer. Since 2015 she works as a Volunteer to the NGO «Medecin de Monde» in detention camp of Moria, Lesvos and as supervisor of the program «Children at risk and vulnerable families on Lesvos» at refugee camps of Kara Tepe and Moria as well as a Guardian-Caregiver for the program «Humanitarian Support for  Unaccompanied Children» with NGO Praksis. Currently she is a supporter of the vulnerable group of refugee women, trying to bring them in touch with the Greek society and culture in accordance to their traditions and way of living.


Ruha Said

Cultural Advisor

Ruha Said is Kurdish Syrian. She studied English literature in Damascus, fled in October 2014 and now lives with her family in Sweden. Ruha and SAO founder Raquel Herzog met in 2016 on Lesvos. Today she is available to SAO as a cultural advisor and ambassador. The Amina Centre in Athens is named after Ruhas Grandmother of 95 years of age. Read the story of Raquel and Amina here: 100 women's blog by Fatima Vidal. You can meet Ruha Said in the short film made by Ida Schmieder about the work of SAO in Bashira on Lesvos.

Here you will find the video >



Sao is a character from the Greek mythology. She was one of the 50 daughters of Nereus, also known as «the old man of the sea» and Doris. The sea nymphs, called Nereids, each had a special task. Sao protected and saved shipwrecked in dangerous waters: «the nereid of safe passage or the rescue of sailors».

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