Get to know 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
PhD Law Student in Cologne, Germany

Leon Birck

Strongly convinced by the idea of education by and in technology I accompanied the whole development of SOURCE.

I’m 25 Years old and I'm currently writing my doctoral thesis at the University of Cologne, Germany. When I heard of Kakuma and the small group of refugees teaching basic computer courses in the camp, I knew that I want to support this innovative and authentic project. Strongly convinced by the idea of education by and in technology I accompanied the whole development of SOURCE. Lead by perfectionism and persistence I always give in my whole skills and enthusiasm to accomplish our goals. Besides SOURCE I’m active at Scouts and local politics.
Please feel free to reach out to me, just send me an e-mail to leon.birck@source.network.org
Profile picture of Hendrik Bitzmann
Data Scientist in Frankfurt, Germany

Hendrik Bitzmann

Right from the start the mentorship program broadened my horizon by being exposed to new perspectives and working with the very inspiring SOURCE team.

After finishing my studies in Medical Informatics in Göttingen 4 years ago, I decided to start my career in data science mostly working with Python and R. When I was asked to join the mentorship program, I was immediately intrigued to share my experience and to guide young developers in acquiring the most beneficial skills for the industry. Right from the start the mentorship program broadened my horizon by being exposed to new perspectives and working with the very inspiring SOURCE team.
Profile picture of Leonardo Carlo Calisse
Creative Director in Barcelona, Spain

Leonardo Carlo Calisse

Extremely passionate about education and global justice. Joining Leon on the SOURCE founding team was the perfect opportunity to put these values into action.

I'm 24 years old and working as a creative director for a marketing startup in Barcelona. I grew up in nine countries so I have always been fascinated by different cultures and experiences. I am extremely passionate about education and global justice, and joining Leon on the SOURCE founding team was the perfect opportunity to put these values into action. I am also very active in environmental activism especially within Extinction Rebellion. Some of my other interests include martial arts, painting, writing, travelling and festivals.
Profile picture of James Kemp
Investment Management Associate in London, UK

James Kemp

Joined SOURCE in 2019 and has been primarily involved in the Mentorship program and Internet café.

After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Exeter University, I went on to complete a master’s degree in International Management at Esade Business School, Barcelona. I joined SOURCE in 2019 and have been primarily involved in the Mentorship program and Internet café, spending a month in Kakuma refugee camp working with the local team. It was inspiring to meet individuals so dedicated to improving their community and very encouraging to see how quickly the organisation is growing.
Profile picture of Tilman Rüsch
Political Consultant in Berlin, Germany

Tilman Rüsch

I strongly believe that technology provides many amazing tools to facilitate access to education.

I’m 30 years old and working as a political consultant in Berlin, Germany. My work focuses on advising tech and platform companies. I strongly believe that technology provides many amazing tools to facilitate access to education. And this makes a huge difference, especially in places where there are many obstacles to getting a good education. I joined SOURCE to advance this vision of leveraging technology to connect people and create life-changing opportunities. Other than that, I like to spend time outside running or riding my bike.

Interested in joining our cause?