tmf volunteers

A group of 13 volunteers is currently working on the co-creation of a Campaign for World Refugee Day, on the 20th June 2021, as part of a join collaboration between the European Students’ Union [Together, Moving Forward programme] and the Voices of Young Refugees in Europe. Here bellow our dynamic and dedicated group members!

For more information about the Campaign, feel free to contact TMF programme coordinator, Fanchon at or Maria, President of VYRE, at


Originally from Bulgaria, Svetla is for sure a very good communicative person: when it comes to speaking in front of an audience, she is very comfortable! 


Through her various interests such as Intercultural Communications, Integration and Migration, Human Rights, Linguistics, Philosophy and Religion, she is convinced that communication and integration are crucial today and that more should be done to raise awareness and to change the perspective of migration. 

For Svetla, the group itself is amazing as it brings together people with different backgrounds, experiences and points of view which is inspiring and motivating. No doubt: the best way to move forward is by educating and learning – and there is no better way to do that then through people!

Her quote: Perseverance makes best


Originally from Afghanistan, Khalid is now living in Italy where he studies Political Sciences in Political Sciences & International Relations at the University of Pavia. In the past, he volunteered with the UN development program and other UN agencies particularly on gender equality, Internationally Displaced Persons and community building, among others. 

Very sporty, Khalid likes to play basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, billiard, swimming, horse riding and running! 

His personal experiences, studies/thesis and various volunteering activities, including migration-related topics, led him to join the TMF advocacy group, where being part of a group, learning from each other, and developing a new group identity were part of his motivation!

For Khalid, “groups” can do more to the “individuals” than individuals can do for themselves!


Joana, born and based in Portugal is very curious: she likes to study, learn new things and on new topics, and interact with people with different backgrounds and perspectives. For her, the most important knowledge one can gather comes from these relationships and exchanges.


Holding a bachelor in Public Relations and Communication, Joana is currently studying a Master in International Studies where she is deepening the interest in international cooperation, global challenges and the situation and struggles people with refugee backgrounds and seeking asylum are facing. 


With her academic background and infinite curiosity, Joana will for sure highly contribute to the group’s work, in gathering research and defining goals to draft a good communication plan!

Joana inspirational quote? “Let us cultivate our garden”, Voltaire.


Alaa, Syrian student, is now, since 5 years, in Portugal where he is studying Electrical Engineering.


While walking and reading are among his favourite hobbies together with travelling and learning about different cultures, Alaa is also a very dedicated and engaged person. Before coming to Europe, he was involved in relief aid with various NGOs, and since he is in Portugal, he is volunteering with different projects to support foreigners and people with refugee backgrounds with language and cultural exchanges. As a scholarship’s beneficiary of Portugal’s Global Platform for Syrian Students, Alaa is often joining panel debates on topics related to migration, inclusion and the situation of Syrian students in Portugal.


His motivation to join the group? To build new friendships around Europe and to contribute to building a society where equality is guaranteed for people with a migrant background, LGBTQ+ people and where freedom of expression is respected.


Rosa is the creative spirit of the group, always ready to take on new challenges and opportunities! Drawing, ceramics, cinema, languages and juggling are among some of her hobbies, and there are for sure many more!


With various experiences in Portugal in education projects, with a particular focus on people with refugee and migrant backgrounds, Rosa would like to build on these experiences, bring awareness to the challenge young migrants are facing in the educational system with a dash of visual creativity.


Rosa’s inpirational quote: “Yallah”, as she likes to say, it’s not a quote, but it’s motivational and straightforward!


Asif, born in Afghanistan, fled the conflict in his home country at the age of 14 to seek protection and safety in Austria in 2008. He graduated from university in Vienna, studying IT Security at the University of Applied Sciences, Asif is currently enrolled for an MBA Program at the California Lutheran University. He is now leading a team of cybersecurity specialists.

What has motivated him to join the group? Asif has remained passionate about human rights, especially the rights and fate of refugees. He is very involved in supporting other young refugees and asylum-seekers in Austria, including as the head of the Afghan Student’s Association, where he is now a board member. 

Asif is also an Alumni of UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council which provides a platform for the Youth Delegates and other young people to speak about their experiences as refugees, to assist policy makers in better understanding the situation of refugees and to give refugees, especially youth, a voice in important fora including United Nations and State-led mechanisms and conferences.


Born in Barcelona, Dominique grew up in a small Swiss town before moving to California, USA to study International Relations and International Development with a focus on Migration. 


Through this experience, Dominique noticed that, unfortunately, not everyone can continue with higher education because of the high costs involved.  Since then, she is very interested in advocating for education and equal opportunities for all and is currently writing her Thesis on the inclusion of (prospective) refugee students in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. 


When Dominique found out about Together, Moving Forward, she was very inspired by its mission to empower students, and students with refugee backgrounds, to find solutions to overcome educational barriers.

Her quote: “Dreams are universal. Opportunities are not.“


Andreas is for sure our most loyal TMF supporter: on top of being part of the Advocacy group, Andreas is also part of the TMF selection committee since the early beginning of the programme in 2016! Thank you so much for that 🙂


Coming from Cyprus but living in the UK for a while now, Andreas volunteers for the Cypriot Youth in the UK (NEPOMAK UK) and was Vice-President and President of the University of East London Students’ Union. 


His motivation to join the Advocacy Group for the World Refugee Day Campaign?

His grandparents are refugees and lost their house in 1974 as a result of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Occupied since then, they’ve been unable to return. Because of his personal story, Andreas has always had a strong interest in migration-related issues.

Andreas’ inspirational quote: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. … It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela


Katarína, originally from Slovakia and currently living in Hungary, graduated with a Bachelor in English and Arabic language and culture and is now studying Masters in International Migration and Ethnic Relations at Malmö University.


Being an avid migration policy enthusiast, Katarina joined this team to get hands-on experience in advocacy and campaigning and to extend her knowledge in building an inclusive society.


According to Katarina, this world needs more people and activists who can make the voices of refugees heard. We cannot agree more.and


From the small town in the north of Italy, and a typical Italian sense of humour, Francesca, has developed a strong interest in a wide range of topics: from solidarity and protection of the environment projects to absolutely everything related to the Middle East (language, cultures and traditions!).


Francesca’s motivation to join the group? Bring her energy and help the team to bring some positive changes in Europe!


Her quote “Continuerai a farti scegliere o finalmente sceglierai?” (Fabrizio De André)


Niki, Cypriot, is the scientist of the team, as she is currently studying biological sciences at the University of Crete. She also has a very wide range of interests: singing, drawing, roller coasting, literature, geopolitics and classical music. Niki can even compose and harmonize music, in a classical style!


Her motivation to join the group? Being from Cyprus, a country that experienced a tragic war but also remains today a country hosting many people seeking asylum, Niki is very curious to know more about the topic of migration and inclusion, to broaden horizons and bring as much as possible energy and effort to the team!


Her quote: Be kind, keep striving.