About Us

Our story

Over the summer of 2017, a group of six students and young professionals from Germany, Austria, England, and Italy founded Source – Network for Humanitarian Action. Despite our different origins and educational backgrounds in marketing, data science, law, politics, and investment consulting, we are united in our vision to use technology to establish humanitarian and educational programs worldwide. With our first project, “Computer for Kakuma”, we constructed a computer centre in Kakuma refugee camp, Northern Kenya. At this centre we provide high level coding and computer skills courses for refugees. Working together with a refugeerun, local NGO – SIR (Solidarity Initiative for Refugees) – we aim to encourage the idea of education through innovation, thus helping refugees find employment opportunities and further their life goals. With a very dedicated and talented local team, Computer for Kakuma has continued to grow over the past 3 years. We now run additional courses in collaboration with UNHCR and Xavier Project NGO, focusing on life skills and refugee rights. We have expanded the original centre to include a brand new second classroom, entirely run on renewable energy, which has enabled us to educate more than 200 course participants per month at the centre. We have also opened an internet café in a nearby market within the camp, providing a basic income source and delivering much needed wi-fi to the local community. Our next step in this project is developing a mentorship program, connecting refugee students at the centre with young professionals in Europe to enable skill-sharing, career progression and cultural learning. After successfully trialling the program, we plan to initiate 12 mentor relationships in the coming months.

The Team

Profile picture of Leon Birck
Co-founder & President

Leon Birck

Leon has accompanied the whole development of SOURCE, with his passionate vision for the power of education and his role as finance director.

Leon is currently writing his doctoral thesis at the University of Cologne, Germany. When he first heard of Kakuma and the small group of refugees teaching basic computer courses in the camp, he knew he wanted to support this innovative and authentic project. As a dedicated individual, Leon continues to advance the Source mission with his motivation and varied experience.
Co-founder & Vice-president

Leonardo Carlo Calisse

Leonardo is a content writer living in Barcelona. He co-founded Source in 2017, and has been involved primarily in communication, management and content.

Leonardo has always been passionate about refugee work and climate justice. On the side of his career as a creative, he has been consistently involved in various projects focused on environmental or social work. His time in Kakuma Refugee Camp while co-founding Source was incredibly impactful, and this experience has helped him remain motivated about the project to this day.
Profile picture of Tilman Rüsch
Head of Development

Tilman Rüsch

Tilman is a Political Consultant in Germany driven by his belief that technology provides countless effective tools to facilitate access to education.

Tilman's work focuses on advising tech and platform companies. He strongly believes that education can make a significant difference, especially in places where there are many obstacles to obtaining a good education. He joined SOURCE to advance this vision of leveraging technology to connect people and create life-changing opportunities.
Profile picture of Hendrik Bitzmann
Mentorship Program Lead

Hendrik Bitzmann

Henrik was impassioned by the possibility to broaden his cultural horizon through exposure to new perspectives, which led him to joining Source in 2018.

After finishing his studies in Medical Informatics in Göttingen 4 years ago, he began his career in data science mostly working with Python and R. As the first mentor he had the opportunity to share his knowledge and guide young developers in acquiring beneficial skills for the IT industry.
Head of Operations

James Kemp

James is an investment associate residing in the UK. Since joining in 2019 he has been involved in the management of local operations and infrastructure.

After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Exeter University, James went on to complete a master’s degree in International Management at Esade Business School, Barcelona. He joined SOURCE in 2019, spending a month in Kakuma refugee camp working with the local team. He was greatly inspired by the individuals he met during his time there and their dedication to improving their local community.

Interested in joining our cause?