Hélène Ros was born on January 26, 1978 in Lyon, France. She is the eldest of six children and the daughter of two political refugees who arrived in France in 1977 after fleeing the genocidal regime of Pol Pot.
Holder of a general university degree in law at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, she was forced to stop studying during her third year when she wanted to move towards international law.
After several little jobs, she discovered the world of logistics and the mechanism of international trade where she will learn the profession of logistician "on the job" in different sectors such as the food industry, international removals and oil and gas.
Logistics takes her to the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva in 2015, where she stays for a few years only.
Her family history led her to take an interest in the humanitarian world, particularly the presence of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the care provided to her parents during their stay at the Thai-Kampuchean border, and subsequently, Handicap International's actions in the fight against anti-personnel mines from which the Khmer people have suffered so much.
War trauma, the "unspoken" within a family and never mentioned, can generate suffering and violence, sometimes even over several generations. Children then become collateral damage from post-traumatic stress disorders from which their elders suffer.
By co-founding CoCreate Humanity association with her two friends Christoph Hensch and Sébastien Couturier, Hélène wants to underline the importance of the “duty of memory”, the importance of the testimonies of humanitarian workers and families who lost a loved one during his/her mission. Sometimes the path to recovery is through speaking, listening, or simply feeling supported.
CoCreate Humanity wishes to take up this challenge as a community of peers and thus stay as close as possible to the very essence of humanitarian work, namely the human being himself.
Sébastien Couturier was born on September 19, 1975 in Avully (Geneva), Switzerland.
The interest in humanitarian action was passed on to him by his father, who is himself a former humanitarian.
Holder of a Certificat Fédéral de Capacité (CFC) and a diploma in electro-mechanics, he had in mind to take over the family garage which, long before its time, was a social business with values and ethics derived from humanitarianism. When the economic crisis of 1995 put an end to the activity of the family business, he then supported his father in the creation of a new enterprise active in beekeeping in Tanzania with, again, a very strong commitment to local populations and with not-for-profit values.
The logical next step was his commitment to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for eighteen years, including fifteen years in the field. Sébastien deployed on operational missions in Africa, the Middle East, the South Caucasus and North Africa during the "Arab Spring", and then for four years at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva.
His years of experience have enabled him to realize the lack of follow-up by humanitarian organizations with regard to humanitarian workers suffering from trauma following their field missions. When engagements end, once the physical after-effects have been treated, they remain alone and often isolated with their ghosts and memories.
It was this humanitarian experience that motivated Sébastien to co-found the association CoCreate Humanity with Christoph Hensch and Hélène Ros, who he met on his journey at the ICRC.
Christoph, a father of two, has worked in the non-profit and humanitarian sector since the age of 26. He has a diverse background in humanitarian aid work and management as well as governance experience. Since 2017 he works in a HR role organizing field deployments with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
He was the Executive Director of the Mandala Foundation, an NGO providing psychological support services to NGOs in the humanitarian aid and international development sector. He has worked for many years with the ICRC in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Russia (Chechnya) and Iran, and with Oxfam in Central America.
In 1996, Christoph experienced the coordinated and targeted attack of gunmen on the ICRC field hospital of Novye Atagi in Chechnya (southern Russia). While six of the colleagues were killed that night, he was shot and left for dead. He recognizes that it is not only an initial violent and traumatic event that can leave debilitating effects on someone's life, but also a drawn out, long, difficult and seemingly endless journey of recovery.
He wrote about his experiences in an article for the International Review of the Red Cross in 2016: Twenty years after Novye Atagi: A call to care for the carers.
He postulates that there is an important role for the community in supporting the healing process, of those who go through experiences of trauma and burnout, and proposes an integral and collaborative approach by various stakeholders.
In 2007, Christoph was awarded the Henri Dunant Medal, the highest distinction of the Red Cross movement worldwide, recognizing his "outstanding service and acts of great devotion" in his humanitarian work.
Today, Christoph is dedicated to his vision of building up CoCreate Humanity as a peer support community for humanitarian aid workers worldwide. Deeply motivated by his own experience of trauma and recovery, he aims to help other carers who have suffered as a result of their humanitarian engagement to achieve healing, recognition and understanding.