Harvard Social Enterprise Conference > Social entrepreneurs in war-torn areas and conflict zones

Julia Lemesh

February 10, 2023 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Julia Lemesh

Having a legal background, Julia worked as a corporate lawyer and regulatory affairs manager in Ukraine and the UK for 10+ years. In 2015 after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, she pivoted to the nonprofit sphere. Since then, she has been running Ukraine Global Scholars, a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps bright Ukrainian high school students get accepted at the world’s best boarding schools and colleges on full scholarships for their commitment to return and rebuild Ukraine. Her team of 100 volunteers has helped 200+ Ukrainian students get accepted at the top schools worldwide (Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Choate, Andover, etc.), getting more than $50 MLN in scholarships.


Oleksii Prokopenko

March 22, 2022 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Oleksii Prokopenko

Oleksii Prokopenko is a 34-year-old Ukrainian. He has lived in the USA for five years and is an active volunteer for campaigns and projects supporting Ukraine. He is a public figure and is currently head of the Help Ukraine Center USA fund. He worked as a member of the Board of Directors of the RAZOM in the USA for several years. Oleksii was the instigator of the renaming part of Brighton Beach to Ukrainian Way in NYC in 2022. In Ukraine, he worked in education and public establishments. He was the Head of the Department for General Secondary Education of the Odesa Regional State Administration and taught management and transport economics at local universities. Oleksii has worked actively in the public sector for the last twenty years.


Yasmin Kayali

March 22, 2022 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Yasmin Kayali

Yasmin Kayali is a Mid Career MPA student at Harvard Kennedy School and a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership under the Emirates Leadership Initiative. She is the President of the Harvard Arab Students Association. She holds an MBA and a BA in PSPA from the American University of Beirut. Previously a marketeer with P&G and then an entrepreneur, she pivoted careers in response to the Syrian refugee crisis in 2012 co-founding Basmeh & Zeitooneh; a grassroots organization servicing Syrian Refugees and their host communities in the Levant region. Awarded 2020 Honoree by the Women Refugee Commission and the Leaders for Peace Award in 2022. She is a Vital Voices fellow and was rapporteur representing Lebanese Civil Society in Brussels in 2020 and 2021.


Demetri Fadel

March 22, 2022 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Demetri Fadel

Before joining Karam as Chief Strategic Officer, Demetri Fadel was the Founder and Executive Director of the MIT Refugee Action (ReACT) Hub, and the administrative Officer for the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering among others. At Karam, Demetri works closely with the Executive Team in planning Karam’s work, development, and growth with an eye to creating effective alignment between strategy, programs, and measurable outcomes. Son to immigrant parents, Demetri grew up in Athens, Greece but currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. To him, home will always be wherever family, friends, and colleagues are.


Katya Malakhova

March 22, 2022 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Katya Malakhova

Katya Malakhova is the founder of the Sunflower of Peace Foundation. A Ukrainian native, Katya established Sunflower of Peace in 2015 to support a variety of causes in her country of origin, such as medical needs of Ukrainians affected by the military action in the East, medical care and education for Ukrainian orphans, built playgrounds, and facilitated Ukraine-U.S. genetic research exchange on countering effects of radioactive exposure. When the Russian aggression turned into a full-scale war on Ukraine in late February 2022, Ms. Malakhova directed the foundations’ resources to sending tactical backpacks full of urgent medical supplies to the frontlines of this war. Supported by the outpouring of donations and many dedicated volunteers, Ms. Malakhova has led the foundation’s rapid growth and is currently beginning new initiatives which will respond to the dire needs of women and children affected by the war. Besides leading Sunflower of Peace, Katya Malakhova is an award-winning real estate agent within Greater Boston’s 128-belt. A professional tennis player, she brings perseverance and tenacity to everything she does. Katya believes that real success comes from the collective prosperity and well-being of one’s community and country. In all she does, Katya Malakhova never works just for herself, but for her organization and all those whom she is leading and serving.