We are a local and international non-governmental organisation. So, we work with teams of dedicated local and foreign-based volunteers who are passionate about the poor, the helpless and the hopeless. We want to be a voice for the voiceless, a refuge for the vulnerable and a source of strength for the weak.
"No community can insulate itself by isolating itself from the rest of humanity. Irrespective of colour, gender, race, ethnicity, or social differences, the human family is one global community; as the pandemic has shown us, whatever affects one might ultimately affect all. We must work to promote the collective good. It is in your interest to work for my good, and it is in mine to support yours. Life on earth is transient, while here, we must allow our candles to burn to give light to others".
Charles Gimoh, Founder Refuge Network International
Meet Our Team
Refuge Network is a people-centred non-profit operating with a strong emphasis on community. We engage with communities to promote social cohesion with a view to reducing inequities, increasing opportunities, facilitating equality, and fostering unity. Our team is made up of local and international volunteer members and leaders representing over 25 nations. RNIs leaders are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and possess a rich diversity of experiences and expertise encompassing law, medicine, education, finance, housing, business, social care, and other areas related to our work.
Founder & Executive Director
Charles Gimoh is the Founder of Refuge Network International. He is a Consultant in international human rights law, an author, and an expert on strategic migration.
Charles is proud of his Black African background and Britain, his beloved adopted country. Having lived on three continents and travelled to over 30 countries, many of them poor, he has witnessed the ravages of poverty and seen the devastating effects of social inequality in communities across the world.
His passion for social justice borne out of a vision to see the equitable distribution of humanity’s collective socio-economic and cultural patrimony to benefit the world’s poor and marginalised peoples, led to the founding of RNI and catalysed his PhD-level research efforts focused on finding answers to some of the many challenges facing the global poor.
He has various certifications in international trade and holds a Master of Laws degree from Birkbeck Law School, University of London.
Charles coordinates the activities of RNI globally. He also heads HCI and JP International, two other non-profits.
We work with groups of volunteers on all projects. They are a vital part of the team, and we would be unable to do anything significant without dedicated voluntary members.
Our volunteers are local and global; representing multiple nationalities including, Great Britain, Morocco, Italy, Algeria, Syria, Azerbaijan, Germany, France, USA, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Central African Republic, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Romania, Latvia, Thailand, and a host of other countries.
We pride ourselves on being a collective that is inclusive. Though, a network of three distinct non-profits, we are a collectivity of committed volunteers from diverse backgrounds, with different skills, inclusively working collaboratively to protect the dignity of disadvantaged people, promote equality for all of humanity, and facilitate mutual prosperity.
In terms of advancing our causes which generally revolve around promoting access to fundamental rights to food, health, education, housing, and an adequate standard of life for all of humanity, there is still a lot of work to do as billions of people are still living in precarity and poverty. We are therefore open to welcoming new volunteers to join us in the fight to advance the collective good.
Director Refuge Network UK
Born in Birmingham, England, to Nigerian parents, Josephine Gimoh spent her early years in the West Midlands before relocating to Africa, where she completed her basic education.
Besides some qualifications in business, she is a trained teacher with years of experience teaching children and young people.
Josephine has a Degree in Human Resource Management and Marketing from London Metropolitan University, a Postgraduate Certificate in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth, Postgraduate Diploma in understanding Children's Development and Learning, and a Masters Degree in Childhood and Youth.
Josephine has taken part in RNI's humanitarian missions to Africa and European countries, including Greece and Italy. She is very active in our homeless outreaches and was recently appointed as a Director of Refuge Network UK.
Humanitarian Activist & Social Worker
Jackie Martinez is a qualified health and social care worker with many years of experience in the British social care sector.
She holds a Bachelor's degree and comes from a culturally rich background that spans two continents. She is a passionate activist on humanitarian issues and has spent time on the streets with us, serving rough sleepers and homeless people in our homeless outreach project.
Blessed with a rare gift of compassion, she has personally provided selfless help to a number of rough sleepers, giving them a warm space to sleep and treating them with the dignity that they deserve.
Jackie has been a part of the Refuge Network family since its inception and is a valued member of our advisory board.
Director of Housing & Environmental Programme
In addition to heading Refuge Network's efforts to get homeless people into housing, Giada Campigotto will use her expertise to coordinate our home improvement and slum transformation projects in deprived communities.
Giada is an Italian architect and 3D artist who moved to London to start her dream job. After graduating in Architecture in 2018, Giada was inspired by a human rights-oriented non-profit organization and moved to her native Vietnam, motivated to make a difference in the local community.
She had many international experiences during her studies, moving to China and the United States during her Master's program and working on an environmental project in Abu Dhabi, but Vietnam was what changed her the most. Volunteering for seven months in a world so different from the one she grew up in had a profound impact on Giada. Following her decision to settle in the UK, she decided to do things differently. Initially, she volunteered for a food organization and then she met Charles and joined his fight to support the homeless community.
Giada knows no language or cultural barriers when volunteering, and this is something her experiences and career have taught her: inclusivity and participation are the foundation of a strong society, and only a strong society can change positively as the future progresses.
Vice President City Bank Nigera
Ike Iyasele is an ardent supporter of our cause and a member of our advisory board.
Ike graduated top of his class with honours in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and recently obtained a Master of Science in Financial Sector Management from SOAS, University of London.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and an Associate of both the Nigerian Institute of Management (ANIM) and the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria (ACPIN).
Ike is actively involved in humanitarian work and spends some of his spare time doing voluntary work in prisons and juvenile centres.
Derrick Samuels PhD
Associate Professor & Transformational Leader
Dr. Derrick C. Samuels is the ‘Voice against Stagnation’, addressing more than 150,000 people worldwide each year. As a highly passionate speaker, highly regarded business consultant, author, professor, and transformational leader, he embodies the skill, integrity, vision, and drive to become one of the most prominent inspiring thought leaders.
Dr. Derrick is a Certified Project Management Professional, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA in Management and; PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences and; has taught for DeVry University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, American Military University, Argosy University, and a host of other colleges and universities in the United States.
He is the founder and President of ‘Derrick Samuels Leadership Institute (DSLI)’, p4 Consulting Group, Inc., and the host of ‘Evening with Dr Derrick’.
Derrick is on the advisory board of Refuge Network International and advises us on a range of issues.
Director of Public Engagement & Outreach Media
Fabio Palanza is a London-based professional of Italian extraction. He holds a Master’s Degree in Language and Management to China from the prestigious University of Venice (ITA).
Fabio is our public engagement director. After completing his studies, he decided to follow Marco Polo’s path towards Asia. His volunteering experience started in South-East Asia, where he volunteered with Oxford Omnia an international non-profit, in the small Vietnamese village of Kinh Môn, in the Northern part of the country. There, he operated as an ESL Teacher in a community school, teaching the English language to local kids and teenagers. He also helped in reorganizing and managing the school, promoting its activities among local primary education institutes.
From little Kinh Môn, Fabio moved to China to take up another position in the sprawling metropolitan city of Guangzhou, teaching Chinese students planning to leave the country to study in Italian Universities. He also delivered public lectures covering various international programmes.
He currently works in sales within the UK's highly respected luxury industry. His major focus and passion consist in connecting people from different cultural backgrounds. Like the great F. Nietzsche, Fabio believes that “what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal”.
Homeless Soup Kitchen Support Officer
On a typical Saturday afternoon, while people are trying to get some weekend rest or catch some weekend fun, you are likely to find Margaret Crossan heading towards Central London to serve homeless people in one of our outreach locations.
Since she started volunteering with Refuge Network, she has never missed an event: a testament to her passion for the work and devotion to the cause. For Margaret, Refuge Network is like family. We rely on committed volunteer staff like her to keep our soup kitchens going.
Maggie, as she is fondly called, is our homeless soup kitchen support officer. You can not but notice Margaret doing her thing during mealtime. Her personality is charismatic, her attitude is endearing, her laughter is infectious, and it is pure joy listening to her lively banter with service users at the homeless kitchen.
Regional Adviser for North Africa & Head of Documentary Film Projects
Mourad Jaouat is a documentary filmmaker, photojournalist, and humanitarian activist from Berlin, Germany. Originally from North Africa, he is fluent in German, Arabic, and English languages. He also communicates in French.
Mourad is widely travelled and has devoted a significant chunk of his time working on refugee-related projects.
Since 2015, he has been documenting migration flows in Europe and Africa for various news agencies. From economic migrants fleeing poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, to refugees braving the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean; from stranded refugees in the Balkans to migrants trapped in the notorious Lesbos refugee camp in Greece, Mourad has captured their harrowing experiences with the lenses of his cameras.
Today, he mainly advises photographers and videographers in Germany. He is the regional adviser for North Africa and head of our documentary film projects.
Dennis Barton represents the homeless community in our organization. He is one of our service users, so he is both a stakeholder in the team and a beneficiary of our services.
As a person who has spent time living rough, Dennis is well-placed to empathize with other homeless people. His first-hand experience of homelessness places him in a vantage position to act as a bridge to the homeless community and to make practical inputs to our strategy for supporting them.
Currently shielding in a temporary facility because of the pandemic, Dennis is still without a proper permanent place to call home.
He is a father figure to several homeless people and supports us on our homeless outreaches working alongside other members of the team to deliver services to the homeless community.
Youth Ambassador and Special Assistant to the Executive Director
Caprice Gimoh is a teenager currently studying at GCSE level in the UK. She has been involved in programmes for gifted and talented children, including those of Mensa: the high IQ society.
When she’s not doing academics, Caprice is volunteering with RNI to help make a better world for us all. She has been part of our non-profit since the beginning and has participated in self-funded humanitarian trips to Senegal, Morocco, and elsewhere.
As a youth ambassador, she is a voice for young people, ensuring their interests are effectively represented within our team. She also serves in a voluntary capacity as a special assistant to the executive director.
Dr Seliatu Rhoda Ohimor
Director of Community Health & Youth Development Programmes - No Poverty Campaign
Seliatu Rhoda Ohimor is a Pharmacist with versatile working experience spanning both the Public and Private Health Sectors. An avid learner with a knack for professional excellence, She has a string of degrees including Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Master in Health
Planning and Management ( MHPM), Master in Public Health (MPH). She also holds a Certificate in Project Management in Global Health from the University of Washington, USA.
An Addiction Prevention/Treatment Professional with training from the United States Colombo Plan DAP program, she is the Head Counsellor, Revamp Support Hub; a Counselling Outfit that provides Addiction Recovery and Mental/Emotional Health Counselling/Support services. She is also the Lead Coach, Skilful Parenteen Hub.
A member of various national and international professional associations including the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Community Pharmacists Nigeria (ACPN) and International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), she presently works as Community Pharmacist in Lagos, Nigeria. Seliatu is the director of our No Poverty Campaign Community Health and Youth Development Programmes.
Mariame Sow Hamo
Interim Co-Director for Senegal - No Poverty Campaign
Mariame Sow Hamo is one of our Interim Co-Directors for Senegal at No Poverty Campaign. Her first contact with our organisation was in 2018 when she volunteered to support our cause in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. From the onset, it was obvious that she had a deep concern for social justice, as she not only attended our socioeconomic rights conference that year but went on to recruit a team of committed volunteers for the NGO. She also reached out to her local mayor to solicit support for our work in the community.
As a young student, Mairame was one of a select group of intelligent students that were chosen to participate in President Barak Obama's Access Training programme in Senegal.
She has a rich and varied non-profit experience working with community development, women's empowerment and leadership NGOs, and helping to protect the environment with Green Peace, the international environmental protection organisation.
Mairame holds a Degree in Computer Science and Management as well as a French Licence 3 in Computerized Management of organisations.
Dr. Lucky Agbontaen
Director of Medical & Strategic Outreach Projects - No Poverty Campaign
Dr Agbontaen Lucky is a humble and upright professional, who brings an extra level of dedication to any task or assignment under his purview.
Lucky is a medical doctor by training. A graduate of one of Nigeria's finest universities, he also possesses a postgraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences.
With strong cross-cultural experiences, he has worked locally in Nigeria his home country, and internationally, in the Americas, improving the medical, psychological, and physical well-being of diverse people.
In his former role as a director of missions in Nigeria, he coordinated outreaches to rural communities and campuses of tertiary institutions bringing hope and providing material support to many.
Presently, he is a Lecturer at the prestigious University of Benin, where he is devoted to training the next generation of medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other categories of healthcare professionals at the medical school.
Lucky is our Director of Medical Outreach Projects at No Poverty Campaign.
Director of Legal Services - No Poverty Campaign
Timothy Abayomi Odumosu is a law graduate from Nigeria. He was called to the Bar as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, in 2004 after graduating from the Nigerian Law School.
Timothy is also a trainee and member designate of the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN), and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.
He is in active legal practice and presently a partner in a thriving Law firm.
Tim is our Director of Legal Services at No Poverty Campaign. He coordinates our legal aid initiative aimed at providing pro bono services to poor disadvantaged individuals and groups.
Madame Diop Ndeye Arame Fall
Interim Co-Director for Senegal - No Poverty Campaign
Madame Diop Ndeye Arame Fall is an interim Co-Director of our non-profit in Senegal. She is a human rights activist and a lover of children who derives joy in helping people. She would describe herself as a simple dynamic, courageous, enterprising feminist who likes taking on challenges.
Madame Diop is a women leader in Senegal. She campaigns for equality and women's rights and is the president of the women's wing of the Syndicat Democratique des Travailleurs du Transport Routier in Dakar. Recently, she represented Senegal at the International Conference on Women in the Transport Sector, in Ethiopia, and was also featured in the International Transport Workers Federation's (lTWF) media campaign for equality and women's rights, to mark International Women's Day.
Arame Is a graduate of the University of Dakar, aka Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Senegal. In addition to qualifications in language and computing, she also received executive training at the Institute of Business Administration Training (IFAA) obtaining a Higher Diploma in Marketing and Communication.
Coordinator of Bones and Food Affairs at Outreach Events
Molly is an important member of our homeless outreach team. She became an instant hit with volunteers and our homeless friends the day she escorted us to an outreach event.
Molly is super-friendly; she enjoys rolling on the floor with homeless chums; in return, they spoil her with hugs and yummy bones.
You are likely to find her prancing about with an air of self-importance at outreach venues, convinced she is providing some form of psychological service. A few of our homeless service users seem to agree with her; she does not judge them, instead, they receive her furry arm of friendship, comfort, and warmth. Why do we have this sneaking suspicion that Molly likes volunteering for these events mainly to have easy access to bony treats!