Fundación Abrazando Ilusiones
Fundación Abrazando Ilusiones

WE ARE A DIVERSE TEAM,
EACH WITH A UNIQUE JOURNEY

Hassane Handi

Hassane, our Executive Director, is responsible for the overall strategic direction, leadership, and management of our organization. His role extends to spearheading the Training Hub, a pivotal component to our mission.

Born in Morocco, Hassane embarked on a migratory journey to Spain in pursuit of a better future. He started from the ground up, working as a citrus picker, all while grappling with homelessness, language barriers, and the challenges associated with his undocumented status. However, encouraged by those who saw his potential, adversity only fuelled his resolve.

Hassane’s professional journey eventually positioned him within the Spanish Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he dedicated over 15 years of service. Working within the Asylum and Refugee Office, his contributions extended beyond interpretation to leadership in safeguarding international protection guarantees and engagement in high-stakes legal proceedings. In 2013, he transitioned to the General Police Directorate, where his dedication earned him the prestigious 2016 Medal for Police Merit.

Hassane has co-authored various publications and shares his wealth of knowledge as an associate professor at several universities. Beyond his professional life, Hassane is an avid cook and a farming enthusiast. His journey is a testament to the power of determination and resilience, making him an inspiring leader in our mission for positive change.

Leila Benhaddou

Leila, our Human Rights, Training, and Advocacy Specialist, plays a key role in the successful implementation of our impactful and self-sustaining operating model. Her contributions extend beyond strategic planning and project monitoring, as she is also dedicated to advancing the foundation’s work through advocacy efforts.

Leila’s academic foundation, which includes a double major in Economics and International Relations, along with a master’s degree in Human Security, equips her with relevant knowledge in fields such as development economics, international law, and people-centered security.

Leila’s professional journey spans early involvements at high-level institutions such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the European Commission, as well as hands-on engagements in major humanitarian emergencies, including the Syrian, the Afghan, and the Ukrainian.

Throughout the years, Leila has demonstrated visionary leadership in addressing complex challenges and a strong dedication to generating positive social impact. Beyond her contributions to our mission, she has steered other impactful initiatives in recent years, including Just Open Arms and the “Peace Threety blueprint at Girl Move Academy.

Beyond her professional and academic pursuits, Leila is a sports enthusiast with a passion for beekeeping and immersive travel.

Eduardo Iglesia Kuyumchoglu

Eduardo is our versatile Operations Manager, the engine behind our day-to-day operations. With an academic background as diverse as his life experiences, Eduardo’s journey reflects his global mind and international outlook.

Born in Argentina, Eduardo holds triple citizenship and advanced studies in electronics and creative arts. His rich professional experience includes roles in the IT sector, followed by entrepreneurial endeavors that allowed him to leverage his innovative spirit.

At our Foundation, Eduardo began as a volunteer photographer. Yet, his dedication quickly propelled him into increasingly significant roles. As our Operations Manager, he leverages his technical skills and creativity to ensure the smooth functioning of our social enterprise and drive our mission forward.

Outside of work, Eduardo is a multimedia enthusiast and a self-proclaimed futurist that resonates with Woody Allen’s sentiment: “I am interested in the future because that’s where I am going to spend the rest of my life.”

Agustine Abila

Agustine, our Social Action Specialist, is an invaluable asset to our mission. Originating from Cameroon, her steadfast commitment to empowering disadvantaged individuals and promoting social equity truly embodies our mission.

With a wealth of expertise in fostering positive social impact, Agustine brings extensive knowledge in development, mediation, and project management. At our Foundation, she leads the planning, execution, and evaluation of youth development programs, ensuring they are effectively designed and implemented.

Outside her organizational role, Agustine spearheads other philanthropic endeavors, including the Sawa or Pagnya Association. She is also a gifted novelist pursuing doctoral studies, and she is fluent in French, Spanish, English, and Ewondo— her native language.

Cristina Rodríguez

Cristina, our Training Associate, is a driving force behind our Training Hub. With an extensive track record that includes decade-long engagements at the Spanish Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. As our Training Associate, Cristina oversees the development of our service portfolio, ensuring its alignment with our mission and contribution to our social business strategy. 

Dorin Stefan

Dorin, our Training Assistant, is a key contributor to our Training Hub programs. Born in Romania, his early fascination with languages led him to become a self-taught linguist at a young age. Proficient in Romanian, Russian, and Spanish, Dorin’s journey took him to Tunisia, where he embraced a new linguistic challenge: mastering the Arabic language.

After completing his master’s studies in Translation and Interpretation, Dorin joined us as a communications intern. His outstanding contributions propelled him to become our training Assistant. Dorin’s drive and empathy are unparalleled, making him an invaluable team member who consistently goes the extra mile to support our mission for positive impact.

Adriana Gimenez Jimenez

Adriana, our Research and Communications Assistant, plays a key role in conducting valuable research to inform our advocacy efforts and managing communications. Holding a double major in International Relations and Global Communication, Adriana brings a multidisciplinary approach to our team. Her dedication to driving positive change extends well beyond our organization. Among others, Adriana serves as the CEO of Opinión20, a digital magazine for youth empowerment and open dialogue.

Zainab Bouhssina

Zainab, our Youth Engagement Coordinator, brings great dynamism to our team. Her enthusiasm, know-how, and cross-cultural competence are instrumental in fostering positive engagement with our young participants. Zainab holds advances studies in Intercultural Communication, Arabic-Spanish Translation, and Interpretation, and her passion for social work became evident through her previous roles as an interpreter and mediator with refugee people.

Verónica Huertas Smolis

Verónica, our Social Integration Specialist, holds advanced degrees in Intercultural Mediation and Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies. Committed to fostering positive youth development, Verónica contributes valuable expertise in youth inclusion to our Foundation. In her capacity, she is dedicated to guiding and mentoring at-risk youth, facilitating their successful integration into both social and labor spheres.

Justin Tombé

Justin, our Youth Mentor, brings an inspiring personal journey and deep commitment to our mission. Born in Guinea-Bissau, Justin fled conflict as a teenager, facing the hardships associated with being an unaccompanied and undocumented youngster. Yet his determination forged the resilient and charismatic individual he is today. Justin turned to sports to cultivate mental and physical strength, eventually transforming it into his life’s career, where he helps others unlock their full potential. As a sports coach and educator, Justin provides guidance and transformative mentorship for our at-risk youth.

Inés García Al-Achbili

Inés, our Junior Associate/Advisory, holds a Bachelor’s degree in African and Asian Studie, and Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies. Her profound interest in Arab socio-politics has taken her to various countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco. In her role, Inés leverages her expertise to drive collaborative initiatives which greatly contribute to our mission.

Diana Dimitru

Diana, our Volunteer Coordinator, holds an important role within our philanthropic efforts, as she not only oversees but also collaborates closely with the volunteers that help propel our mission forward. Born in Romania, Diana holds a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication, Translation, and Interpretation in Public Services, and her passion lies in uniting people for a greater societal good. 

Ruth Cañizares

Ruth, our Finance Manager/Controller, is the guardian of our financial well-being. With over two decades of professional experience in accounting, including five years working within the realm of Foundations, Ruth brings a wealth of financial expertise to our team. In her role, she oversees all financial activities, manages budgeting, and ensures accurate financial reporting. 

Thays Santos de Fez

Thays, our Event Assistant, draws upon her background in administration and communication to spearhead activities that foster engagement among youth and the broader community. Her responsibilities encompass event planning, logistics coordination, and promotional support. In her role, Thays collaborates closely with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure the successful execution of events in alignment with the Foundation’s mission

Nour

Nour, our Project Assistant, holds advanced studies in Intercultural Communication, Translation, and Interpretation in Public Services. With this strong educational background, she brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to our team, particularly in the field of cross-cultural communication and language services. Her passion for creative cooperation and commitment to our mission make her a valuable asset to our organization.

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