About Us


We are here to bear witness to the sufferings of others.
We urge you to also commit to bear witness to the failings of humanity.

–Raiza Kolia

Our Mission

Empowering vulnerable communities

To promote the mental health wellbeing and economic empowerment of vulnerable individuals and communities, globally, through education, support, research, and advocacy, with a focus specifically on human rights, gender equality, and human dignity.

In pursuit of our mission we strive to:

  • compassionately provide culturally competent services;
  • provide greater accessibility to the communities served by being community-based;
  • use gender transformative approaches to provide services that promote gender equity and women and girls’ emotional and economic empowerment;
  • improve communities’ understanding of mental health and the connection between mental and physical health;
  • empower individuals and communities to build resilience;
  • address mental health services seeking biases and stigmas through education and factual information;
  • advocate for improvement of mental health services and education in vulnerable communities;
  • provide programs with local engagement – Services for communities, by community members.

Our Values 

Our Partners 

Corporate Documents

Our Executive Team & Board of Directors


Raiza Kolia

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Ernst Mücke

Co-Founder & President of the Board

Maile Ramzi

Vice President of our Board

Mary Speyer

Treasurer of the Board

Janet Maurer

 Secretary of the Board

Minna Jarvenpaa

 Member of the Board

Enó Isong

 Member of the Board

Evelyn Murphy

 Member of the Board

 Dr. Suleiiman Shihada

 Member of the Board

Jorina Elbers

 Member of the Board

 Kay Hoffman

 Member of the Board

 Paula Allen-Meares

 Ex-officio Board Member

Our Advisory Board

A team of non-voting Advisors is supporting the Board and Executive Director in their mission by providing us with their guidance and professional expertise as needed


Our Team

Humanitarian services for vulnerable communities, by community members


“As a refugee, it is important to retain your identity, yet at the same time it is equally important to make a concerted effort to integrate into new cultures and learn how to straddle between the two cultures to be able to grow and succeed.”

–Nesrin Mawas

Our team on the ground is recruited locally. They are part of the communities whom we serve.

We partner with the local and refugee community to ensure a customized approach to our services. Community involvement is critical to our success because our team members better understand the culture, the challenges of war and displacement, and the stigma associated with mental health issues within their society.  All of this ensures that we provide services and educational materials that are culturally sensitive, professional, and effective.

Our Services

Reaching Across Borders - Empowering Communities

Humanitarian services for vulnerable communities, by community members.


Reaching Across Borders is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit humanitarian services organization.

USA Tax ID / EIN:  85-2397845.

All donations are tax-deductible in the USA to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations.

© 2023 Reaching Across Borders. All rights reserved.