We are a social startup with an international team from Kenya, South Africa and Germany.



Start Somewhere is a design and construction team comprising of the German social enterprise and the Kenyan Ltd company. We manufacture our own building materials (the innovative TwistBlocks) at our factory in Kibera where local people are permanently employed.

CEO Start Somewhere Germany

Kristina Cress

Comm. Designer Director PR & Comm.

Kristina is CEO and one of the three founding members of Start Somewhere nonprofit. She brings over 10 years of professional experience as a communications manager for large corporations. Together with Silvia and other friends, she has supported Start Somewhere as initivative from Oliver from the beginning. It has always been her dream to use her skills for something meaningful.

Claire du Plessis

Claire is a South African architect working from Berlin on social projects from Start Somewhere in Kenya. She studied a masters degree in Architecture in Cape Town. The programme was focused on finding solutions to some of the many social inequalities in South Africa.
NGO Board Start Somewhere Kenya

Dennis Andere

CEO Start Somewhere Germany

Oliver von Malm

Dipl.-Ing. Founder/Director R&D, Architecture

Oliver von Malm studied Architecture in Innsbruck, Austria. During his studies he worked in renown architecture offices Snohetta in Oslo and Zaha Hadid Architects in London and Beijing. In 2011 he left Beijing and traveled through Pakistan, India and Kenya and Tanzania and founded the initiative "Start Somewhere" after a 4 day visit in Kibera, Nairobi. Starting off as a private initiative, Start Somewhere is now a social business that enables people in informal settlements to produce their own innovative building materials, the "TwistBlocks" which were developed by Oliver and a team of experts. Start Somewhere has realized numerous social housing projects in Kenya and is now expanding to South Africa. Oliver has done teaching multiple years at University of Innsbruck with Rames Najjar and at TU Munich at the chair of Francis Kéré.
NGO Board Start Somewhere Kenya

Rina Wekesi

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.
CEO Start Somewhere Germany

Silvia Hesse

Dipl.-Geogr. Director HR & Finance

Silvia Hesse is CEO and one of the three founding members of Start Somewhere. As a geography graduate, she brings experience in urban and transportation planning. Silvi is primarily involved in the HR and financial sector of Start Somewhere. Funding projects and communication topics are also her focus. Together with Kristina she has supported Start Somewhere as an initiative of Oliver from the beginning.
Director Start Somewhere Kenya Ltd.

Lazarus Asewe

Civil engineer and project manager

Lazarus Asewe is the project manager of Start Somewhere on site in Kenya and the director of Start Somewhere Kenia Ltd. He has 9+ years’ experience in Engineering ( civil, structural & mechanical). Some of his responsibilities are to make sure that the construction projects are successfully executed, to supervise employees and coordinate resources and work processes. Moreover, he represents Start Somewhere at local events, makes customer acquisition and does cost calculations for all construction projects.
Administration Assistant

Beryl Achieng Odede

Beryl Achieng is adminstration assistant at Start Somewhere Kenya Ltd. Mostly she takes care of invoices and accounting processes in coordination with the accountant. Besides that, she is also present at client meetings and often in the workshop for support.

TwistBlock Factory Kibera, Nairobi Team

From left to right: Samson Ontweka (intern), Tonny Ogalu (production worker), Milka Achieng (head of factory), Kevin Omondi (deputy manager / production worker) and Richard Oloo (production worker)