Passion & Commitment to Serve
Meet the change-makers behind The For The Unseen.
Puneh Ala’i is the founder of For The Unseen. The youngest daughter of Iranian immigrant parents, she was raised to value hard work and honor her spirit of service. In 2013, she hid cash under her clothes and snuck into Syria to purchase and distribute aid. There, she met and played with Syrian refugee children who inspired her to start her own not-for-profit. Even in the midst of war, despair, extreme poverty and loss, they shone with purity and love. It was with this flame of love and hope in her heart that For The Unseen was established. Puneh wants to serve those in need by providing sustainable solutions, but most of all through offering love and hope. She believes that only love and hope that can truly heal wounds, can truly help people overcome the challenges they face.
Attorney Shadi Ala’i Shaffer is committed to service to children and the underserved. Her volunteer work began in her teens and led her to Lithuania, where she lived for three months helping orphaned children in the Baltic region. Shadi later worked with at-risk youth in the secondary school system in Southern California, encouraging them to stay in school and consider college a possibility in their career path. Born into an immigrant family, Shadi was the first in her family to complete her college studies and get her J.D. degree in law. She is a board member for For The Unseen as well as Stand Up For Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps fight youth homelessness in Orange County.
Attorney Patrick Phancao consults on international issues, particularly pertaining to civil wars in developing countries. Patrick was raised primarily in France and Congo, where his family survived several civil upheavals. He has seen first-hand what war can do to individuals and families. When Patrick came to the United States, he vowed never to forget what he had learned during that difficult time. For The Unseen was the type of organization he had been searching for, especially when Puneh asked him if he would help her in the "quest for world peace.” Who could say no that? As a board member for For The Unseen, Patrick contributes his knowledge and expertise. He is a practitioner in the field of Asset Protection and Estate Planning who specializes in protecting families, particularly the safety of children. He believes to make a difference you have to start at the root of all societies: the family unit.
Muhannad Barazi is a Syrian-American born and raised in southern California. His father and mother are from Syria. His father’s non-violent activism in the areas of history, politics, humanitarian aid, and philosophy has had a great influence on his work as an international humanitarian. Muhannad is a board executive with Neocell Corporation and has worked on various projects assisting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Muhannad, a board member for For The Unseen, is inspired Puneh's spirit and motivation to work with the people of his fatherland as well as support all the “unseen” people in the world.
Kristin Deasy is a writer and artist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She worked as a journalist for many years in Europe and the Middle East, where she focused on human rights. In 2013, she also snuck into Syria to report on the development of civil society in opposition-held areas. It was at this time that she met Puneh and For The Unseen.
As Creative Director, Jessica oversees the execution of creative strategy for many of For The Unseen's events and fundraising efforts. Jessica has been interested in service since childhood thanks to her parents, who consistently volunteered. An active volunteer with For the Unseen for the past five years, Jessica also led co-led an art supply drive for an art school program in a low-income neighborhood in California in 2014.