About Us

Our small size allows us to avoid a large administrative overhead and channel funds directly to where help is needed, without intermediaries. Some of the countries where HAI has been present, are: Ecuador, Peru, Kosovo, Bosnia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Ukraine, Romania, Morocco, and most recently, aiding refugees on the Turkish - Syrian border.

Our role is strictly subsidiary, we abide entirely by humanitarian principles of neutrality and non-discrimination.

HAI is entirely dependent on the support of its active and passive members, and as a non-profit institution, it continually re-invests funds in creating new projects where help is needed.

If you are interested in being part of the team, or would like to know how you can help, please contact us.

Who We are

Naema AlKhalil, President

n.alkhalil@ha-int.org

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Naema is a member of the Administration Committee of the AlRahma Reception Center. She is responsible for the residents well-being, the coordinator of community activities and animations for children.

Naema is a nurse assistant and life coach graduate. After the tragic death of her husband in Syria, she fled to Turkey while pregnant with her third child and her two daughters.

Since settling in Turkey, she has worked intensively to inspire other young widowed mothers to overcome their difficulties, to succeed in their lives, to become empowered, independent and integrated in their new host country.

Sofia Viola, Treasurer

s.viola@ha-int.org

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Sofia participated in several humanitarian missions of HAI in Romania, Lithuania, Bosnia and at the Turkish-Syrian border. Her calling for helping people defined her choice of vocation.

Presently Sofia is studying psychology as a major and a minor of neuroscience at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Manar Bustani, Secretary

m.bustani@ha-int.org

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Manar has been involved in humanitarian aid for the last six years, she used to be a one of the founders of (Souriyat Across Borders Humanitarian Group) which had many projects focusing on improving the circumstances of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and, in Al Zatary Camp, which, is located at the borders between Syria and Jordan and hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugee families.

Manar was mainly involved in providing medical care to refugees with spinal cord injuries and amputees, alongside, with providing educational support to high school drop out Syrian students in Jordan.

Manar is so passionate towards working with orphan children and organizing events to entertain them to help them forget about the war.

Paul Viola, Director

p.viola@ha-int.org

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Paul has been involved in humanitarian aid for the last 35 years, led humanitarian missions in various parts of South America, beginning in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and ending in Ecuador, working to improve the educational standard of public schools and quality of life for those in underprivileged circumstances.

Paul acquired his skills and experience by working from 1975 to 2002 in juvenile prisons, orphanages and homes for the elderly, as well as daily contact with street children in Quito, Ecuador. On his return to Switzerland in 2002, he worked in the distribution of mobility aids in several Eastern European countries where he also carried out animations in homes for orphans, disabled and elderly people.

He practices the therapeutic techniques learned in the Children and War Foundation's "Teaching Recovery Techniques" course and at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) with Professor Jean Claude Métraux on "health and migration". Since 2013 he participates and organizes therapeutic workshops with children and young Syrian refugees in the province of Hatay in southern Turkey.

In 2016 he created the AlRahma Reception Center on the Turkish-Syrian border, which today houses 22 orphan children and 13 widowed women.

Britt Mitchell, Advisor to the Director

b.mitchell@ha-int.org

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An educator at Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University, Britt is a passionate participant in humanitarian service. She has been involved in voluntary humanitarian and education initiatives for more than 14 years, including projects in South Africa, Marshall Islands, Jordan, Ethiopia, UAE, and Turkey.

She joined the HAI team in 2016 because she passionately shares the vision for humanitarian initiatives that empower and dignify the recipients. She spent the summer of 2017 living in Reyhanli Turkey, creating an academic advising program to help displaced Syrian students find opportunities to enter higher education, as well as supporting and assisting with HAI’s Rahma house.

Antoaneta Kumanova, Mental Health Counselor

a.kumanova@ha-int.org

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Antoaneta has a post-graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. Her qualifications include over 7 years of work experience in social and humanitarian projects . Antoaneta’s therapeutic qualifications consist of two years of study in the school of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She works individually and in groups using methods of CBT as well as art and play.

Antoaneta worked for one year with unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers in Sion, Switzerland. This project  gave her the incentive to enroll in the course “Migration and Health” at the University of Lausanne to broaden her knowledge.

Her objective is to help people in vulnerable situations to build up their confidence and to foster their resilience through counseling.

Antoaneta joined HAI’s team in 2017 and is currently in charge of a therapy project with the resident women and children of AlRahma home in Reyhanli at the Turkish - Syrian border.

Laurent Marechal, Advisor

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Laurent P. Marechal: With broad world wide experience, he knows that young people are the future and that sustainable education and technical assistance improves the lives of disadvantaged communities and their living conditions. Energy exploration specialist, retired independent professional, he also has the ability to bring business ideas in alternate & conventional energy to add prosperity to developing countries lacking in natural resources.

Background: 31 years of oil & gas industry experience in exploration & development geoscience evaluations and operations. Proven energy resources discovery success worldwide for large & small operating companies. Assisted with the start-up of several energy companies. Broad experience in preparing and presenting corporate resource valuations material for financial resource reporting purposes for large scale investor financing as well as for foreign government ministries. Expert at evaluating formal business proposals from corporations and potential future partners. Main Areas of experience in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Madagascar, Nigeria, North Sea, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Yemen.

Previous positions: Vice President of Exploration and Co-founder of company Buried Hill Energy. Exploration Manager at Gulfstream Resources. Exploration Geophysicist at CanOXY Petroleum. Consultant Advisor at Petro Canada International Assistance Corporation PCIAC, Geophysicist at BP and Gulf Oil. Director, of Castle Mountain Ski Resort in Canada. Director of wind power company SouthWinds Energy.

Achievements: A proud grandfather. Recipient of a Presidential Achievement Award from the Yemen Republic in 1993. Speed Skiing Competitor, Canada National Team, 1992 Winter Olympic Games, Albertville, France.

Bertrand Marty, Advisor

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Bertrand Marty was born on April 20th, 1956 and raised in Valais, Switzerland where he spent all his childhood and adolescence. As a young adult, he first went to Germany and England for two years before settling in Geneva for ten years to work as a bookseller. From that time on, he is sensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world and contributes financially to various humanitarian organizations to the extent of his means. From that time too, professional circumstances led him to take care of people suffering from fragility or dependence. A professional reconversion will lead him to take care of people looking for work, an activity he will carry out for eighteen years.

Now retired, Bertrand Marty is active with various associations that allow him to be in contact with people suffering from aphasia (partial or total loss of language following a stroke), with people who may experience distress by their age, their isolation or their physical or mental health, and with migrants recently arrived in Switzerland.

Willingly solitary as well as loving the company of others, he does not consider an existence without the double and permanent learning of oneself and others. It seems to him that we can only become what we are meant to be when we understand the suffering of others. After returning to Valais, he began to work as a bookseller, continued to support financially, even modestly, various humanitarian organizations and again looked after people suffering from fragility or dependence.

History

HAI was founded in 2009 in Ravoire, Switzerland, by Paul Viola. Of Swiss-Italian descent, Paul has been involved in humanitarian aid for the last 35 years and independently led humanitarian missions in various parts of South America, beginning in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and ending in Ecuador, working to improve the educational standard of public schools and quality of life for those in underprivileged circumstances.

Since its foundation in Switzerland in 2009, Paul Viola and Human Action International  collaborators have traveled to over 25 destinations, most of these being post-conflict or poverty ridden locations in eastern Europe, bringing medical supplies to hospitals, and providing mobility aids to men, women and children in underprivileged situations; enabling them in this way to not only physically be capable of finding gainful employment or going to school, but more importantly, to have an improved level of quality of life.

...humanitarian missions in various parts of South America, beginning in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and ending in Ecuador...

Some of the countries where HAI has been present, are: Kosovo, Bosnia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Ukraine, Romania, Morocco, and most recently, aiding refugees on the Turkish - Syrian border.

Click here to find out more about our project with Syrian refugees: The AlRahma Housing Center for Women and Children.

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