Our Team 

Anthy Argyriou

Social Worker

Anthy is an established social scientist with 10 years of experience in providing support to vulnerable people. She has worked with unaccompanied minors, refugees, families and women and people that come from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

“You don’t cut the flower that doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

Daphne Sinani


Daphne is a psychologist and drama therapist.  She completed her studies in Psychology and Mental Health in the UK and then trained in Drama Therapy in Greece, incorporating play and art into her therapeutic practice. 


She has been working in Community Mental Health and Social Psychiatry for 20 years.  She has coordinated drama therapy groups with psychiatric patients and with migrants, parent counselling groups, women’s groups and toddler playgroups.  She is an amateur actress, enjoys travelling, literature and music. 

Sammy Alderson

Communications Co-ordinator

A student of design and music from an early age, Sammy is passionate about growing creative and communication skills. He studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at The University of Melbourne and now lives in Athens where he is the co-founder of a technology startup that operates in the social media and marketing space.

Eirini Tsilafaki


Eirini has practiced traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture since 2015. She started providing reflexology in 2014 for a local NGO and in 2017 went on to study clinical practices in Chinese medicine at the first teaching hospital of Tianjin, China. She is trained in NADA protocol for the treatment of post-traumatic stress.


Lauraine Velez

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Lauraine has over two decades of experience with the United Nations and managing humanitarian projects in Morocco, India and Nicaragua.  By chance, she met and married her Greek husband, who was the catalyst for creating Hestia Hellas.  “Hestia” honors the Greek Goddess, Hestia, of the family, home and hearth.


Alen Amini

Alen is the son of Iranian immigrants. He worked with immigrant and refugee populations as a former high school teacher and vice principal, and has worked on cross cultural exchanges as the Executive Director of the J. Austin White Cultural Center, as a US-Brazil fellow, and as a Fulbright scholar in Central Asia. Alen has an MPA from Harvard University and an MBA from Dartmouth. He has worked for the White House and the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Kate Cooper

Kate is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher who holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She currently holds an NIHR fellowship to investigate the experiences of autistic people with gender dysphoria. She has worked in a diverse range of clinical settings including with children and families, with adults, with people with learning disabilities and autism, and with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and in Greece. In her current role, Kate works with children and families with mental health problems in the NHS and conducts research at the University of Bath. 

Leonard Doolan

The Revd. Canon Leonard Doolan (Fr. Leonard) is the Anglican priest at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Athens. He has been a priest for 36 years and is married to Lynne, who currently volunteers as Hestia’s Child-Friendly Space Coordinator.  St. Paul’s and the wider Anglican Church have been financially supportive of Hestia Hellas throughout the period of austerity measures and the crisis of refugees and migrants into Greece.  In addition, Leonard has supported the expansion of our safeguarding policies and works in close collaboration with our Human Resources Officer to ensure safe recruitment practices.

Athena Trigenis

Athena, a Clinical Psychologist holds a dual Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Indianapolis and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wales.  She is the founder of Roots Wellness Center, which provides integrative therapies for Athens-based individuals.  Athena specializes in, Mind-Body Approaches, Harvard’s Meditation Practices for Everyday Living, Clinical Hypnosis, Trauma Therapy for PTSD and Training in Grief Counseling.

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Hestia Hellas is an IRS registered 501(C)(3) charity in Texas, USA.
EIN: 83-2648546
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