Advocating for Ethics Education for Children and the Right to Quality Education

This year, Arigatou International – Geneva was invited to share its expertise or carry out workshops at 15 different international events.

In our interventions, we focused on the critical role of ethics education, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and proposed educational approaches for ensuring children’s wellbeing. The discussions included a wide range of topics from the prevention of violence against children, to mindfulness, leadership, and social inclusion.

Through these interventions, we reached 6,741 stakeholders, including representatives of United Nations agencies and Permanent Missions in Geneva, as well as representatives of governments, ministries of education, and civil society and faith-based organizations, members of academia, educators, children and youth.


Geneva Peace Week 2020: Fostering social cohesion, a sense of belonging and interconnectedness among learners

For a third consecutive year, Arigatou International – Geneva was part of the Geneva Peace Week, which was held online from 2 to 6 November 2020. This year's theme was "Rebuilding trust after disruption: Pathways to reset international cooperation," as the event sought to galvanize leadership, build trust, and foster international collaboration in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arigatou International – Geneva hosted a workshop for more than 100 participants titled “Learning to Live Together — How educators can create safe, inclusive and empowering learning environments that foster social cohesion, a sense of belonging to a larger community and interconnectedness among learners.”

The workshop consisted of a panel discussion with experts, followed by an interactive program. Throughout the workshop, participants reflected on social inequalities and how they had been exacerbated by the pandemic, and discussed the role of education in fostering interconnectedness, social cohesion, and a sense of belonging.

International Online Conference on Building New Bridges Together

Organized by, the conference took place on 25 June 2020, bringing together more than 1,500 participants from 87 countries. The discussions were built around the vision that ethics in higher education can only be strengthened through an intergenerational alliance and a common effort to build new bridges together.

“Education should be part of the solution, particularly today, when we are called, more than ever, to build on our interconnectedness as human beings, to work together, to activate a collective leadership and challenge the divisiveness, the increase in hate rhetoric about the other, and to build a new normal that is fairer, just, and helps build and ethical foundation for a new world,” said Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director, Arigatou International –Geneva.

In her intervention, she invited the audience to re-think education to bridge the gap between the realities of young people today, and the current educational systems. Covid-19 has shown not only a disparity in the access to education and the quality of it but also how disconnected education is from our societies and the realities of people, especially young people.

She highlighted three aspects of a transformative pedagogy of ethics education that can provide new thinking on the role of education post-Covid-19: creating safe and participatory learning environments, re-establishing the role of teachers as facilitators of spaces for learning, and fostering an education that brings about transformation.

In the pictures, Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike, Executive Director,; and Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director, Arigatou International – Geneva 


The G20 Interfaith Forum: Supporting Vulnerable Groups in Times of Covid-19

The G20 Interfaith Forum is an annually held event that seeks to build on the vital roles that religious institutions and beliefs play in shaping the world we live in. Given pandemic-related restrictions, the summit was held online in October 2020.

The Forum was organized in conjunction with the G20 Interfaith Forum Association, The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the National Committee for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue (NCIRD) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It saw 147 speakers and panelists representing 47 countries participate in the four-day summit.

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International Geneva, was invited to speak on a panel discussion on Supporting Vulnerable Groups in Times of Covid-19.

The discussion, which was moderated by Mr. James Patton, President/CEO of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD), focused on the vulnerability suffered by segments of the population, particularly during disasters and social challenges. In the context of the Covid-19 emergency, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and some minority communities experience distinctive and severe challenges, closely connected to economic, emotional, social, or health disparities.

The panelists looked into creative strategies and approaches that have worked for religious communities to support vulnerable groups during the pandemic and reviewed ways of working together with policymakers. They also reflected on the opportunity provided by the crisis to rethink the perception of vulnerable people and change the discourse around them.

During her intervention, Ms. Uribe spoke about the importance of transitioning from vulnerability to resilience. She pointed out that “thinking of people as vulnerable can be tricky. As it makes us focus on a deficit approach that conceives of individuals […] as powerless”.

Ms. Uribe called attendants to better reimagine the role of children during this pandemic so they are not considered merely a vulnerable group and in doing so change the discourse surrounding them as well as the actions and responses of governments.

To alter the discourse around vulnerable groups and mitigate the proliferation of racism and xenophobia we need to “develop community-based approaches where beneficiaries of interventions, particularly children and young people, take leadership, support each other and are key partners in developing strategies […] Helping to challenge their view as vulnerable and powerless to transform their perception of them and their involvement,” she concluded.


  • Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Executive Director of the Network for Traditional and Religious Peacemakers;
  • H.E. Amb. Teresa Indjein, Director General for International Cultural Relations of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria;
  • Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Executive Director of United Religions Initiative (URI);
  • Ms. Sara Rahim, Head of Programme at A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY) and Youth Representative to the United Nations for Parliament of the World’s Religions;
  • Dr. Mohammad Sammak, Secretary-General of the National Committee for Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Lebanon and member of KAICIID Board of Directors;
  • Prof. Mariz Tadros, Director of the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) and Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK.
  • Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International Geneva

From our team

Education can play such an important role to promote peace in society by enhancing children’s critical thinking, building their understanding, appreciation, and respect of diversity.

Ms. Emiko Naka,
Program Officer on Resource Mobilization,
Arigatou International - Geneva

Holistic Approaches to Early Child Development and Education

20 April 2020

Organized by Comparative and International Education Society – CIES

The Emotional and Spiritual Impact of Covid-19 on Children: Faith and Spiritual Nourishment as Key Factors for the Protection and Resilience of Children

23 April 2020

Organized by International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, ISPCAN

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse and Online Exploitation

23 June 2020

Organized by Search For Justice – CAN Pakistan, and the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau – Government of the Punjab

Eliminating Violence against Children at Home

28 June 2020

Organized by Youth Advocacy Network Bhutan

Leaders Dialogue – Active Peace Building for Community Cohesion in the Midst of Covid-19

22 July 2020

Organized by Shanti Ashram – Coimbatore, GNRC, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, the International Center for Child and Public Health, and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute

Intercultural and Interfaith Education

24 July 2020

Organized by World Vision Colombia, Arigatou International – Geneva, the Ministry of Interior of Colombia, and the Interreligious Movement in Favor of Children in Colombia

Dialogues of Knowledge and Learnings 2020: Right of Children and Adolescents to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religions

20 August 2020

Organized by Defence for Children International in Costa Rica together with UNICEF Costa Rica and the National Patronage for Children

International Day of Peace: Shaping Peace Together

21 September 2020

Organized by Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kenya

Child Rights and Protection of Children in the Church and Society

2 November 2020

Organized by the World Council of Churches

From Faith to Action: Regional inter-religious conference to protect the rights of children affected by migration

11 December 2020

Organized by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office

Peace, Diversity and Solidarity during a Pandemic

10 February 2021

Organized by UNESCO Associated School Project Network – Indonesia

Ethics, Values & Inclusivity in Education

18 February 2021

Organized by Mindful Educators – Sri Lanka

Interactive Knowledge Update: The Rationale and Impact of Successful Convening

9 March 2021

Organized by Shanti Ashram Coimbatore

From Faith to Action: Regional inter-religious conference to protect the rights of children affected by migration

11 December 2020

Organized by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office

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