Meet the Team

School4Life is run by volunteers that, outside of their professional careers, freely give their time and energy, combining the experience, knowledge and contacts for the benefit of the school and the community.

School4Life cooperates closely with the Kenyan team on different programmes. We believe that development comes from within. In other words, we support and advise the school and community to develop itself rather than actively enforcing change.

School4Life Board Members

Agnes Ellis (Kühne), Founder and Chairman

Who am I?

I was born in Brazil, but grew up in Germany, where I completed my university degree in Economics in 2006. Ever since I enjoy life in Zurich, Switzerland working in a consulting company in Operations with a focus on the financial market.

What do I do for School4Life?

Since our foundation in 2011 I am the chairman of the organisation.

Besides the overall coordination responsibilities I take care of all the financial aspects, communication and coordination with our local Kenyan team as well as all other matters that relate to our donors and supporters.

Why School4Life?

“Sharing is caring” holds true especially if there aren’t a lot of resources around. Not having food when one is hungry, not being able to shower when one feels dirty or not being able to turn on the light when it gets dark make you really appreciate the people around you going the extra mile to help out: asante sana to everyone involved!

What are the greatest moments I had with School4Life?

In 2012 we organised the first community event in our school, inviting staff members and the local community. While students were performing on a self made stage, everyone was proudly watching them. In the background was the construction team about to finalise the first 4 permanent classrooms. So much life where only 12 months ago the school was close to being shut down by the Ministry of Education.

Dr. Astrid Kühne, Founder and Deputy Chairman

Who am I?

Born in Brazil, but growing up in Germany I studied International Communication and Economics. After finalising my PhD about intercultural teams I started working in a global HR consulting company with focus on Change Management. In 2013 I moved to Tanzania to work as a project manager for 2.5 years. After a sabbatical I returned to Zurich to work for a management consulting company again.

What do I do for School4Life?

Since our foundation in 2011 I am the deputy chairman of School4Life. Besides the overall coordination responsibilities I take care of all the “soft” factors, including all areas of Marketing, communications and PR. In addition, I ensure that our volunteers are well looked after and have an unforgettable experience in Kimilili.

Why School4Life?

One third of the world’s population are children. They are our future. Therefore, nothing you do for a child is ever wasted! We should worry not only about what a child will become tomorrow, but also remember that he/she is someone today.

What are the greatest moments I had with School4Life?

In order to support our needy kids, I stayed at 33 different families one night each for 33 days to share their lifestyle, dreams and challenges. This deep dive into Kenyan culture was a real eye opener: their hospitality is beyond limits, their willingness to help each other as one big family has no boundaries and their positive way of living their lives should be a source for inspiration to all of us. You can read more about my magical moments here.

Alexandra Diederichs (Frick), Founder and Board member

Who am I?

I worked for one of the big 4 Management Consulting Companies in Zurich. However, our sweet School4Life kids inspired me and I am now a full time mummy with two lovely little daughters.

What do I do for School4Life?

I am responsible for our key stakeholders, bringing the involved parties together. By doing this, I can ensure a smooth running of the daily operations while significantly forming the strategy of School4Life.

Why School4Life?

The spirit of everyone involved is just amazing, including our local Kenyan friends, motivated team members in Europe, our hands-on volunteers visiting Kimilili and last but not least the generosity of all our supporters. Without all of you such a project would not be possible: asante sana!

What are the greatest moments I had with School4Life?

Definitely the time spent with the children. Their big smiling faces everywhere and the words ”how is you“? Those big brown eyes looking into your own and going straight through your heart!! They (and we) all had nothing but we were all so happy!

Miriam Hofbauer, Board member

Who am I?

Next to my work in a consulting company being the CEO of the Zurich subsidiary, I am studying International Development Management because this whole topic is very close to my heart and I want to engage myself not only in a theoretical, but also in a practical way – that’s why I joint School4Life!

What do I do for School4Life?

On the one hand I am trying to look for alternative “sourcing options”, that is trying to find new approaches of fund raising like for example crowd funding, and on the other hand I am the main responsible for the Leavers’ Program, that is to make sure that the students who are graduating from CBSM Secondary School can successfully transition into a working life.

Why School4Life?

Because it is very down to earth – it is not about talking a lot, but it is about doing what can and should be done: providing education to the kids in Kimilili.

What are the greatest moments I had with School4Life?

Every time when hearing the CBSM-children shout “Miriam, how is you?” when I enter the school yard 🙂

School4Life Core Team Members

Norbert Benker– Project Manager

Who am I?

After my studies of economics in Mannheim I lived 9 years in different African countries, like Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. I worked as the COO of a micro finance bank and after traveling for a year in Africa and Latin America I started a family company in Germany.

How do I support School4Life ?

I am mainly looking after the IT solutions that enables S4L to better communicate internally and externally. I also support at fundraising events and I promote S4L as often as possible. I also adopted a child.


Why School4Life?
If you have visited the project, you don‘t need another WHY.

My best moment with School4Life:

The moment we announced to the finalists of the Primary School that we would open a Secondary School for them and they will be able to continue their education. You can read about their joy here!

Ulrike Richter – Volunteer Manager

How do I support School4Life ?

I am looking after the volunteers who wish to spend time in Kimilili and support us on-site with projects. I onboard the volunteers, look with them for exciting projects and together with the local team, we look afte the volunteers to provide them with a unique local experience.

Why School4Life?

Because the children have stolen my heart and it’s an awesome team to work both in Kenya and in Switzerland

My best moment with School4Life:

My time onsite in Kimilili

Therese Triemer – Event Manager

Who Am I?

Born and raised in Germany, I finished my Master degree in Chemistry in Berlin and Oxford. I recently completed my doctoral degree in Molecular Life Sciences in Zurich and started a consulting career in the area of Life Science consulting. Besides my passion for Kimilili I love hiking, climbing, and travelling.

How do I support School4Life?

Being an Event manager for School4Life, I am responsible for organizing fundraining events, to aquire sponsors for our children in Kimilili and collect donations. I have also supported the internal functioning of School4Life.

Why School4Life?

Because a happy smile of a child is one of the best presents on earth!

My best moment with School4Life:

The 5th year birthday celebration.

Andrea Sala – Project Manager

Who Am I?

Born and raised in Barcelona, where I completed a degree in Business Administration. Have worked and lived in several countries since then. Moved to Zurich with my family in 2008. My main line of work has been developed in the Medtech industry , lately as Business Processes Director EMEA.

How do I support School4Life?

Being a Project Manager at School for Life, I support all types of projects that are currently important to further grow the organization. Assignments I have been in involved with include the communication for the Re-brand as well as looking at new streams of funding for the Special Needs School.

Why School4Life?
Because Astrid’s speech at my children’s school Christmas concert moved me to tears.

My best moment with School4Life:

Meeting the team for the 1st time and enjoying good Spanish gapzpacho with Ana whilst we squezze our brains!

Karolina Letowska – Project Manager / Kids Home Coordinator

Who Am I?

Born and raised in Poland, where I completed my Master degrees in ‘Theory of Economics’ and in ‘Financial Engineering’. I have worked in various European countries since then and in 2016 I moved to Zurich. My main line of work has been in project management for the financial industry, and more recently as a Project Manager in Regulatory Implementations.

How do I support School4Life?

As a PMI Project Manager for School4Life I am responsible for the cooperation between the two organizations which includes fundraising, networking, trainings and project coordination.

As a Kids Home Coordinator my main focus lies on our children’s further education.

Why School4Life?

Some children have to overcome obstacles we cannot even imagine. I want our kids to feel that despite the distance between us they have somebody who will support them.

My best moment with School4Life:

My visit to Kimilili in March 2017.

Emma Delmotte – French Market

Who am I?

Born and raised in France, I completed my Master’s degree in supply chain management in London and started my consulting career in the UK before I moved to Geneva, Switzerland for supply chain management consulting. My main focus is large transformation programmes  and procurement at the moment.
How do I support School4Life ?

I am taking care of the French market starting with the creation of a page in French for our website.

Why School4Life?
Because education for both girls and boys is the future for a better world!

My best moment with School4Life:

Meeting the team!

Ana von Bock – Project Manager

Who Am I?

I was born and grown up in Sao Paulo – Brazil with a huge Spanish influence from my mother’s side. After university and post- grade in Business Administration I went to Spain to finish my studies with a MBA in Barcelona. I worked in Marketing and Business Development in Barcelona and then came with my husband to start our new adventure in Zurich where 2 kids were born. Nowadays I’m working in Finance with a passion for Social Impact investments and Corporate Social Responsibility areas.

How do I support School4Life ?

Personally I have been supporting the kids with school fundraising projects and sponsoring teachers in School4 Life.

As a Project Manager at School for Life, I will work and support the communication strategy and the grow of the Special Needs school.

Why School4Life?
Because is one of the best projects I have seen lately.

My best moment with School4Life:

Meeting Agnes for the first time, 2 years ago I felt that I immediatley wanted to be part of this incredible project and help as much as kids as possible.in the region.

School4Life Advisory Board Members

Verwaltungsratsmandate

– Vizepräsidentin Stiftungsrat Tele D, Diessenhofen

– Swiss Chapter World Scout Foundation

– Path to Success, London

Berufliche Laufbahn

– Gründerin und Inhaberin Silvia von Ballmoos Communications AG

– Seit 1991 Kommunikations-, Medien- und Imagecoach

– 14 Jahre Moderatorin Schweizer Fernsehen

Silvia von Ballmoos startete ihre 14 Jahre dauernde Karriere als Moderatorin beim Schweizer Fernsehen während ihres Jura-Studiums. 1995 gründete sie parallel zu ihrer Fernsehtätigkeit ihre eigene Firma, die international tätige Silvia von Ballmoos Communications AG. Sie und ihr Expertenteam entwickeln und realisieren Konzepte für externe und interne Kommunikation, beraten und trainieren Führungskräfte von international führenden Banken, multinationalen Konzernen, Politiker und Verbänden bei ihren Auftritten in den Medien oder in der Öffentlichkeit.

Verwaltungsratsmandate

– Präsidentin, Bernexpo Holding AG

– Vizepräsidentin, Messepark Bern AG

– Mitglied, Valiant Bank AG, Vorsitzende des Nominations- & Compensations Committee

– Mitglied, Youtility AG

– Mitglied, Bern Welcome AG

– Mitglied, Beirat Standortförderung Kt Bern

– Einzelmitglied, Wetterhorn v. Weissenfluh AG

– Ehemalige Präsidentin d. Thuner Seespiele AG

– Ehemaliges Mitglied, Orell Füssli Buchhandlung AG

– Ehemaliges Mitglied des Stiftungsrats, Laureus Foundation Switzerland

– Ehemalige Präsidentin des Verwaltungs- und Stiftungsrates der Mediapulse AG

– Ehemaliges Mitglied, Net‐Metrix AG

Berufliche Laufbahn

Franziska von Weissenfluh Stäheli hat einen Masterabschluss in Betriebs- und Volkswirtschaft und ist diplomierte Verlagskauffrau. Ihre berufliche Karriere startete sie als Mitglied der Unternehmens-leitung bei der Espace Media Groupe. Sie war Geschäftsleiterin der Berner Zeitung BZ und vom DER BUND. Nebst den Printmedien galt ihr Engage-ment auch dem Fernsehen (Telebärn), dem Radio (Capital FM) sowie dem Aufbau von neuen Online-Medien.

Seit 2009 ist sie selbständige Unternehmerin und als Präsidentin und Mitglied von verschiedenen Verwaltungsräten aktiv.

Verwaltungsratsmandate

– Mitglied, Reichmuth & Co Holding AG

Berufliche Laufbahn

– Inhaber, Präsident des Verwaltungsrats und Delegierter, Exsigno Stäfa Gruppe

– Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, CS Life

– Senior Vice President und Head of Private and Institutional Banking Middle East, Credit Suisse

– Leitung des Asset Management für die gesamte internationale Privatkundschaft, Credit Suisse

– Head of Private Banking Activities, Citibank NA (Privatkundengeschäft Belgien, Frankreich, Griechenland und Italien)

Jürg Frick ist Senior Partner in der Deloitte Banking‐Industrie in der Schweiz. Er begann seine langjährige Karriere im Finanzdienstleistungssektor. Er war Senior Vice President und Head of Private and Institutional Banking Middle East sowie Head of Asset Management einer grossen Schweizer Bank, Vorstandsmitglied einer Versicherungsgesellschaft und Head of Private Banking Activities in Belgien, Frankreich, Griechenland und Italien für eine grosse US‐amerikanische Bankengruppe.

Verwaltungsratsmandate

– Ehemaliges Verwaltungsratsmitglied Accenture Technology Solutions AG, Schweiz und Accenture Solutions AG, Schweiz

Berufliche Laufbahn

– Leiter Group Strategic Change Management der UBS AG

– Industrialisierung-Programm UBS AG

– Ehemals Leiter Versicherungsbereich Accenture Schweiz

– Ehemals Leiter der Technology Group Accenture Schweiz

– Leitung / Steuerung großer Technologie Transformationsprojekte in der Finanzindustrie (Banken, Versicherungen, elektronische Börsen) in der Schweiz und in Deutschland

Guido Scherer ist Managing Direktor der UBS und ehemaliger Partner von Accenture mit langjähriger Erfahrung in der Konzeption und Steuerung strategischer Transformationsprojekte in der Finanzindustrie. Als Verantwortlicher der Accenture AG für den Versicherungsmarkt hat er zusammen mit der HSG verschiedene Publikationen und Studien veröffentlicht. Innerhalb von Accenture hat er das Engagement für soziale und kulturelle Projekte aktiv betreut und vorangetrieben.

Verwaltungsratsmandate

– Präsident, Hirslanden AG

– Präsident, Hirslanden‐Tochtergesellschaften

– Vorstandsmitglied, Economiesuisse

– Vorstandsmitglied, Bündnis freiheitliches Gesundheitswesen

– Vorstandsmitglied, SwissCham Southern Africa

– Vorstandsmitglied, Verein AMREF Schweiz, Verein für Medizin und Forschung in Afrika

– Ehemaliges Mitglied, Mediclinic International

– Ehemaliges Mitglied, Stiftungsrat Rotary Stiftung Zürich au Lac

Berufliche Laufbahn

– Direktor, Klinik Hirslanden, Zürich

– Chief Executive Officer, EUROMED AG, Fürth, Deutschland

– Chief Operating Officer, EUROMED AG, Fürth, Deutschland

– Oberarzt und Mitglied der Klinik– sowie Geschäftsleitung, EURO‐MED‐CLINIC GmbH & Co., Fürth, Deutschland