Let us introduce ourselves


Valentino Velasquez

After a half-year’s stint in the illegal refugee-camp at Calais in the north of France and the experiences I gained there, continued study was no longer an option for me. To break off my studies and commit myself to helping those who haven’t been lucky enough to be born in Europe seemed self-evident to me. Some will probably accuse me of a certain naivety, to put my stable education at risk in this way. However, faced with the people who have put their lives at risk in search of a dignified existence, I feel myself responsible. In order to help these people sustainably and meaningfully, Valentina, David and I brought the association ‘Be A Robin‘ into being. Since then we have been developing continuously and have been lucky enough to welcome new Robins into our ranks – what about you?


Valentina Bello

In April 2016 I followed my good friend Valentino to the refugee camp in Calais, in the north of France. I had already had the opportunity to contribute as a volunteer in other contexts, but as far as the refugee crisis in Europe was concerned I was feeling helpless until then. Once I had dared to take the first step everything seemed simple and natural. With Be A Robin I wanted to create a metaphor in order to break down this difficult task with which Europe is faced to the level of the possible, in terms of contributing actively in the face of this crisis. My experiences in the camp in Calais encouraged me, for one, to start a course in International Relations at the University of Geneva. From then on I have been supporting our Robins from here, and handle smaller projects particularly close to my heart or the individual support of refugees with whom I am acquainted.


Debora Suter

I got to know Be A Robin through Valentino, and joined the organisation last winter. Shortly after I travelled to Greece for the first time. On top of my studies in History and German Literature at the University of Zurich, I want to engage with refugees. I will thus travel to Greece again this coming summer with the other Robins, in order to work with the people who are stranded there.


Meret Balmer

After contributing as a volunteer at temporary refugee accommodation in Berlin, and learned about the fates of the people there, upon returning to Zurich I wanted to carry on doing my bit. At the Kick Off event of Be A Robin these plans solidified and I joined the trip to Thessaloniki. This summer I will once more be operating in Greece for Be A Robin with Debora and Valentino.

I study Ethnology and Media Sciences at the University of Zurich. My goal is to work for a relief organisation, and thus to turn my passion into a career.



David became aware of the work of individual Robins on the internet by chance. He joined, and brought to the cause the structure and professionalism that it needed. David is a founding member of Be A Robin, and with his broad knowledge always keeps a cool head with regards to administrative and economic processes.

More on David‘s motives coming soon!