Meet the Board of Lighthouse Relief
Lighthouse Relief was first formed in Lesvos, then registered as a Swedish NGO with a board in Sweden.
We have registered our Greek branch as a Greek NGO, and in Greece the work is lead by our Country Coordinator based in the mainland, alongside our Head of Communications & Strategic Partnerships based in Lesvos.
In Greece, we also have two regional coordinators managing the teams on the field.
Read on to learn more about our three founding members - and their motivations for establishing Lighthouse Relief.
FAZEELA SELBERG ZAIB
Chairwoman of the Board
Fazeela is a social Intrapreneur & Entrepreneur with a background working with Development and Humanitarian Aid, Adult Education, Women’s Rights and Organisational Development.
She has previously worked with projects in the Indian Sub-continent, Africa and the Middle-East and most recently at Save the Children Sweden as the National Refugee Response Coordinator in Sweden.
"I arrived on Lesvos September 17th 2015 after reading about a lack of coordination and international humanitarian presence on the north of Lesvos through social media. With my humble background in humanitarian work I decided to travel to Lesvos to assess the situation and find ways of improving the response. With me I had a larger sum of money donated by friends and family to do this, without an idea of how or with whom.
I could never imagine the scenes I would witness and the absolute urgency in every second of the day leaving little time to think, plan and coordinate a response as the needs were endless. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed before – where children, elderly and pregnant women were exposed to inhumane and high risk conditions due to lack of WASH facilities, nutrition and shelter.
Since then it’s been a privilege, together with amazing volunteers from all over the world, to be able to meet and provide people on the move protection, shelter, nutrition and a friendly face when so many have turned theirs away."
Johan is based in Stockholm where he currently works with humanitarian and migration issues at Save the Children Sweden. He has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Political Science and Government from Uppsala University and a strong and continuous academic interest in the politics of migration.
Johan decided that he wanted to work within the humanitarian field after a humanitarian internship at the UN in New York.
“Mid-September 2015 I arrived in Lesvos for the first time and was surprised by the total lack of humanitarian coordination on the island's north coast. It was disgraceful and bizarre to witness the way people fleeing war and persecution had to arrive in Europe and how little humanitarian aid that actually reached them.
The crisis needed urgent resources, coordination and consistency and I'm proud to say that Lighthouse Relief has been and still is one of the main actors providing such services on Lesvos.
On top of that, we have established a presence on the Greek mainland and continue to improve our operations and organization every day. All within one year! I'm truly excited to continue working with this and to see what’s coming next."
Gunnar is an ex officer/major with 30 years of service within the Swedish Armed Forces. He is experienced from several international missions.
Gunnar also has years of experience as self-employed with assignments in security, disaster relief and camp construction globally. Gunnar studied human rights and logistics in disaster response.
"The first time I visited Lesvos was mid-September 2015. I came to the small Greek village of Skala Sikamineas on Lesvos after a trip along the Balkan route in order to form my own opinion about the current refugee disaster. I was deeply moved by the great lack of coordinated relief efforts and people's severe suffering.
I decided to stay and help organize and coordinate aid to the most vulnerable people. To be part of creating Lighthouse Relief and get to know and work with volunteers from around the world has been a great experience and I look forward to developing the organization further."