MEET THE TEAM

Board of Directors

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Agnes Ellis

Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board


I was born in Brazil but grew up in Germany where I completed my university degree in Economics in 2006. Ever since, I enjoy my life in Switzerland and work for a consulting company that focuses on operations in financial markets.


I was born in Brazil but grew up in Germany where I completed my university degree in Economics in 2006. Ever since, I enjoy my life in Switzerland and work for a consulting company that focuses on operations in financial markets.

Since our foundation in 2011 I am the Chairman of the organization. Besides the overall coordinating responsibilities I take care of all financial aspects, communication and coordination with our local Kenyan team as well as all other matters that relate to our donors and supporters.

“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 wholeheartedly appreciate the people who go the extra mile to help out: Asante Sana to everyone involved!

In 2012 we organized 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 finalize 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.

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Dr. Astrid Benker

Co-Founder and Board Member

Born in Brazil, grew up in Germany and living in Portugal now. I lived in Tanzania and Kenya for 2.5 years each, experiencing the beauty of African culture. After 6 years as a Consultant, I am now a Freelance Change and Project Manager.

Born in Brazil, grew up in Germany and living in Portugal now. I lived in Tanzania and Kenya for 2.5 years each, experiencing the beauty of African culture. After 6 years as a Consultant, I am now a Freelance Change and Project Manager.

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 take care of our Kenyan students joining university or college and ensure that our international volunteers are well looked after in one of our project locations.

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.

I’ve slept 33 nights with 33 different families in their mud huts, experiencing the true challenges in life.
We try to teach our children all about life. In reality, they are the ones teaching us what life is all about…to care for each other. Every single moment with these kids is magical.

Core Team Members

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Norbert Benker

Head Legal and Sustainability

After living and working in many African countries for over 12 years, I can say I’m half African by now. My passion is to support the economic development of families through entrepreneurship and microfinance. I worked as COO, CEO and board director for various microfinance institutions, banks and foundations. With my wife and our two wonderful kids we now live an active lifestyle in Southern Portugal, close to the beach.

After living and working in many African countries for over 12 years, I can say I’m half African by now. My passion is to support the economic development of families through entrepreneurship and microfinance. I worked as COO, CEO and board director for various microfinance institutions, banks and foundations. With my wife and our two wonderful kids we now live an active lifestyle in Southern Portugal, close to the beach.

I’m supporting the School4Life Board with decision-making around legal and governance matters as well as project management for the various initiatives that S4L is funding and supporting.

If you have visited the project, you don‘t need another WHY. Plus, I am the proud husband of one of the co-founders.

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.

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Ana von Bock

Program Manager and Co-Founder Matsarigi

I’m passionate about promoting change and improving the lives of those in need since I was a teenager helping children in Brazilian favelas. With Niko, we are proud parents of Julia and Nicolas. I was born and raised in São Paulo with a strong Spanish influence from my mother. After university, I moved to Barcelona to finish my MBA studies. Since then I have worked in Marketing, Finance, Corporate Volunteering, Diversity and Inclusion, and Business Development in Barcelona and Zurich. Since 2020 I have been working for Limmat Foundation as Program and Partnership Manager and feel very fortunate because I found a place where I could engage directly with my passion and purpose.

I’m passionate about promoting change and improving the lives of those in need since I was a teenager helping children in Brazilian favelas. With Niko, we are proud parents of Julia and Nicolas. I was born and raised in São Paulo with a strong Spanish influence from my mother. After university, I moved to Barcelona to finish my MBA studies. Since then I have worked in Marketing, Finance, Corporate Volunteering, Diversity and Inclusion, and Business Development in Barcelona and Zurich. Since 2020 I have been working for Limmat Foundation as Program and Partnership Manager and feel very fortunate because I found a place where I could engage directly with my passion and purpose.

I have been helping the children and the School4Life team since 2017 with my heart, my head, and hands as a fundraiser, Project Manager as well as event and communication activities.

Because School4Life has an amazing team with incredible expertise. I have seen how S4L is improving the communities and children it supports by emphasizing on partnerships and collaboration that bring a bigger, more sustainable impact on some of the world’s toughest problems.

Meeting Agnes for the first time 7 years ago: I immediately felt that with her I could be part of something great and incredibly beautiful by helping as many children and families as possible. I was amazed and continued with S4L since.

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Sven Schulte

Head of Operations

I am a proud father, a curious learner, and an entrepreneur. I love building applications and connecting people to support each other. I grew up in Germany and have now been living happily in Switzerland for many years.

I am a proud father, a curious learner, and an entrepreneur. I love building applications and connecting people to support each other. I grew up in Germany and have now been living happily in Switzerland for many years.

I helped organize a team of developers to support School4Life build their new website and web application. And I will continue to support any new challenge where my skills and/or network might be of use.

During my time at a Swiss consulting firm, I met Astrid, one of the founders, and she explained to me what School4Life does. I love the idea, the goals and the team spirit of everyone who helps here.

The gratitude of the core team to all those who help makes for new best moments at every meeting.

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Steffi Scheweder

Head of Finance

Team player and passionate finance professional with 2 kids and a big smile.

Team player and passionate finance professional with 2 kids and a big smile.

Implementing Salesforce NGO pack to better monitor and report donations and spendings.
Fundraising. Project management…wherever I am needed.

I have been friends with Agnes and Astrid for over 10 yrs now. Again and again they impressed me with their love and dedication to School4Life and the children. Finally, we found something where I can bring in my knowledge to help and support.

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Daniel Peys

Head of IT

I am a Business Information System student and passionate software developer. I have experience in full-stack web development with various frameworks and a deep love for using my skills to help others and support good causes.

In my role, I actively support School4Life by managing projects and contributing fresh ideas to enhance their mission. I also dedicate my skills to website development, focusing on software architecture and development to ensure a seamless online presence.

My journey with School4Life began when I crossed paths with Astrid, one of the co-founders, during a university project. The profound idea and noble cause of School4Life resonated with me, prompting my enthusiastic involvement in this remarkable organization.

My most fulfilling moments with School4Life are when I see the positive impact of our new website and witness the remarkable achievements of our organization. These instances reinforce my commitment to our mission.

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Isidora Muthmann

Head of Public Relations 

I am a mother of 2 wonderful kids, a wife of an adorable husband, a good daughter, a true friend and a lover of nature. My heart beats for the ones I love, the sea, communications and to see people smile. This is why I always follow the advice of my grandmother: “The most important task of good people is to connect with other good people and to send a light into the darkness.

I am a mother of 2 wonderful kids, a wife of an adorable husband, a good daughter, a true friend and a lover of nature. My heart beats for the ones I love, the sea, communications and to see people smile. This is why I always follow the advice of my grandmother: “The most important task of good people is to connect with other good people and to send a light into the darkness.

As a PR, marketing and communications expert I support the team in matters of communications creating awareness, engagement and reach through various media platforms.

I have been volunteering as a consultant for NGOs and start-ups for a while now to give something back and share the luck I have been given in life.
As a friend of Astrid I have been impressed by her good energy, her will and strength to help others and never accepting „no” for an answer 😊
I am happy to be able to support this wonderful team of people with my know-how and my network.

Just starting … we will see and I am already curious.

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Dominik Metzger

Program Manager

I grew up in Germany, but have now been living in the middle of the mountains in Austria for a few years. 6 months in Chile, 6 months in Iraq and 6 months on a road trip with a VW bus from Germany to India have shown me how wonderful it is to get to know other cultures and countries. I studied energy, environmental and process engineering, now build and plan solar plants and at the same time work for an NGO as a project manager for environmental projects in Iraq.

I grew up in Germany, but have now been living in the middle of the mountains in Austria for a few years. 6 months in Chile, 6 months in Iraq and 6 months on a road trip with a VW bus from Germany to India have shown me how wonderful it is to get to know other cultures and countries. I studied energy, environmental and process engineering, now build and plan solar plants and at the same time work for an NGO as a project manager for environmental projects in Iraq.

My task is to support the implementation of projects in the environmental sector and to ensure a reliable supply of water for the new project of Matsarigi in Matsangoni.

Because all the people in the team are fantastic. It’s fun to learn from such an experienced and professional group.

During a visit to Matsarigi, it was overwhelming to see how enthusiastic the local community is about the project and how well the project is embedded in the local community. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what can really make a difference.

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Roxana Nastase

Volunteer Manager

I live in Heidelberg and enjoy basketball, fencing, and cross fit. As a transformation and business consultant I am working with international companies to move things forward.

I was born and raised in Romania, lived in Dubai and currently in London, a place I now call home. Apart from traveling the world, I find fulfilment in helping others, lending support and empathy. Additionally, I’m that person who always seeks for better and I try to give my best in all the activities that I participate in.

Since I first heard Olga sharing about this inspiring organisation I knew straight away I want to contribute towards a better tomorrow for those children. Looking forward to seeing what this partnership brings.

Providing appropriate support and supervision will keep our volunteers happy while helping to ensure that their energy and enthusiasm is harnessed to benefit our organisation.

The journey has just begun therefore looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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Lukas Becker

Program Manager

I am a mother of 2 wonderful kids, a wife of an adorable husband, a good daughter, a true friend and a lover of nature. My heart beats for the ones I love, the sea, communications and to see people smile. This is why I always follow the advice of my grandmother: “The most important task of good people is to connect with other good people and to send a light into the darkness.

I live in Heidelberg and enjoy basketball, fencing, and cross fit. As a transformation and business consultant I am working with international companies to move things forward.

As in my job, I am supporting School4Life in managing projects and providing fresh ideas. Being a hands-on person, I love getting things done in a fast, efficient and successful way.

I have met the Co-founder Astrid at work and the way she spoke about School4Life inspired me to join this fantastic organization. In addition, I was in MatsaRigi in May 2023 and had the best time getting to know the Kenyan culture and people.

During our trip to MatsaRigi in May 2023, I celebrated my birthday with 100 of the school kids at the Watamu beach. Many of them were at the beach for the first time. Seeing all the happy faces was a precious moment I’ll keep in my heart forever.

Key Stakeholders

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Sara Müller-Okello

Co-founder and Director of MatsaRigi 

I grew up in Germany, but have now been living in the middle of the mountains in Austria for a few years. 6 months in Chile, 6 months in Iraq and 6 months on a road trip with a VW bus from Germany to India have shown me how wonderful it is to get to know other cultures and countries. I studied energy, environmental and process engineering, now build and plan solar plants and at the same time work for an NGO as a project manager for environmental projects in Iraq.

I was born and brought up in Malindi, Kenya and went to school both in Malindi and Mombasa. Back home I worked for United Touring Company, the largest Tour Operator in Africa, as Tour Manager and dealt with international operators, safaris and cruise ships. In 2022 I moved to Switzerland and changed the route of my career. At the moment I work in an institution for the aged at Küssnacht in Rigi.

I oversee the development of project MatsaRigi and take care of our volunteers on site.

Apart from being our main sponsors and supporters, School4Life shares my personal vision and approach towards humanity, which resonates with memories of growing up in Malindi. My parents were not rich but took in so many relatives to live with. Our home was always full of people and this taught me the value of sharing at a very tender age.

The week spent in Kenya from 29th April to 4th May 2023. A very intensive, emotional and bonding moment!

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Maftah Issa

Chairman MatsaRigi CBO

I live in Heidelberg and enjoy basketball, fencing, and cross fit. As a transformation and business consultant I am working with international companies to move things forward.

As a dedicated father, devoted husband and team lead, I strive to bring passion, love and inspiration into every aspect of my life. Guided by these roles, I am committed to making a positive impact, nurturing strong relationships and envisioning a brighter future for all.

By monitoring the implementation of all educational and sustainable programs onsite.

We share one vision of empowering children through education, transforming communities, and creating a brighter future.

My favorite moment was during school opening in July 2021 and during graduation in 2022 (after completion of PP2 for the 1st group of kids). I could not stop tears flowing when I saw the children marching into the ground for celebrations.

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Stella Orengo

Lawyer

I am a mother of 2 wonderful kids, a wife of an adorable husband, a good daughter, a true friend and a lover of nature. My heart beats for the ones I love, the sea, communications and to see people smile. This is why I always follow the advice of my grandmother: “The most important task of good people is to connect with other good people and to send a light into the darkness.

Born, raised and living in Kenya, I am a lawyer who is passionate about children welfare, gender equality and equity as well as good governance. I am in private practice managing an access to justice online program that curates legal documents, offers training and requests consultations to the wider public. Outside formal work, I love to write, cook and farm.

I support School4Life with their legal and corporate governance matters.

School4Life ensures provision of quality education to vulnerable children by imparting knowledge and skills, giving them broad perspectives in life and the ability to get innovative solutions to life’s challenges. School4Life is empowering young generations to be able to confront the dynamic environment with practical solutions through education. It is fulfilling to be part of a great team that is lifting generations to a better life.

We’re building it.

Help us create a better future!

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