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Arigatou International Geneva and URI partner for the well-being of children

Arigatou International Geneva Office and United Religions Initiative (URI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance their working cooperation to foster children's well-being in the world.

URIFrom left: Mussie Hailu, URI Director of Global Partnerships; Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe Torre, Director of Arigatou International Geneva; and The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr, Executive Director of URI.

The agreement was signed on December 18, 2019 by The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr, Executive Director of URI, and Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe Torre, Director of Arigatou International Geneva.

The two organizations have agreed to the following preliminary and overarching areas of cooperation:

  • Collaborate to promote education for learning to live together, enhancing interfaith collaboration and action both within their constituencies and outside;
  • Work together to advocate for children and youth participation in fostering learning to live together and encouraging global citizenship;
  • Jointly organize training workshops on the Learning to Live Together Programme for URI Cooperation Circle members;
  • Support the implementation of the Learning to Live Together Programme with children and youth.
    About Arigatou International.

About URI

URI (United Religions Initiative) is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. The purpose of URI is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously-motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings. URI has UN NGO consultative status with both the Economic and Social Council of the UN, and with the Department of Global Communications of the UN.

URI envisions a world at peace, sustained by engaged and interconnected communities committed to respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict, and social, political, economic, and environmental justice.

URI implements its mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of its 1,035 member groups and organizations in 108 countries, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s empowerment, youth and children’s programs, advocacy for human rights, and promoting a culture of peace and interfaith harmony. 

About Arigatou International

Arigatou International is an international, non-profit organization committed to building a better world for children. Arigatou International is “All for Children,” and draws on universal principles of common good to offer compelling new ways for people of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to come together to address children’s issues.

An initiator and sustainer of partnership-based initiatives to secure child rights and foster children's well-being, Arigatou International seeks to maximize the potential of interfaith cooperation, and always strives to empower and involve children and youth.

Holding special consultative status with UN-ECOSOC and consultative status with UNICEF, Arigatou International liaises and works jointly with UN agencies and other NGOs to foster cooperation within a rights-based approach to the profound issues faced by children and youth today. In 2008, Arigatou International and its Global Network of Religions for Children, in collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF, launched Learning to Live Together – An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.

Learning to Live Together is a programme for educators (teachers, youth leaders, social workers) to nurture ethical values in children and youth that will help them strengthen their identities and critical thinking, ability to make well-grounded decisions, to respect and work with people of other cultures and religions, and to foster their individual and collective responsibilities in a global community.

Learning to Live Together has been implemented in more than 30 countries and benefited more than 400,000 children and youth. More than 1,200 facilitators have been trained on how to use the manual.


For further information please contact:

Arigatou International Geneva

Email: geneva(at) 


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Cultivating Care in Educational Institutions: Symposium in Haifa

The issue of how to cultivate a culture of caring in educational settings, and what conceptions and practices are best suited to integrate caring into educational institutions, is complex and yet crucial to creating a peaceful and harmonious society and providing children with a holistic education. This topic led the discussions at the 2nd International Symposium, “Cultivating Caring in Educational Institutions: Conceptions and Practices”, organized by the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace (GHFP) and the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, with the participation of Arigatou International - Geneva.

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Facilitator Training Workshop in Bogotá, Colombia

Sixteen participants took part in a four-day Facilitator Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together Programme, which was held in Bogotá from 16 to 19 August bringing together religious communities, formal education institutions, and representatives from civil society and faith-based organizations. This included the participation of representatives from 11 Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and secular organizations.  

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More than 1,300 Children and Youth Have Been Reached by Learning to Live Together in Tanzania

Following a Facilitator Training Workshop that took place at the end of 2017 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, over 1,300 children and youth from 17 madrasas, primary and secondary schools have been reached by the Learning to Live Together Programme.

During the workshop, 28 teachers and youth mentors who have been working with youth from the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Peace Clubs were trained on how to use the Learning to Live Together Programme in their schools and organizations. As a result, 900 children aged 12 to 17 have been reached by the systematic implementation of the Programme in 12 schools, and another 400 children have been reached through different activities based on the Programme that have been carried out by their teachers.

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Promoting Learning to Live Together in Latin America and The Caribbean – A Story of Service and Conviction

Ms. Mercedes Román has been a key driving force in the implementation and dissemination of the Learning to Live Together Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) since before it’s conception. She was part of the first group of experts, gathered by Arigatou International in 1998, to work on the launch of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), and has been working with Arigatou International ever since.

As GNRC Coordinator for Latin America, she conducted several test workshops in the region to try out what was then known as the Ethics Education Toolkit. After the launch of Learning to Live Together, she has conducted countless Facilitator Training Workshops in the region, as well as Europe.

Ms. Román has dedicated her life-work to serve the most vulnerable in our society, and to promote the rights of the child, to contribute to their full and sound development. Nowadays, she is the Senior Advisor for the GNRC in LAC and is also part of the group of experts working in the adaptation of the Learning to Live Together Programme to middle childhood years.

In this interview, she shares about her journey working with children and women in vulnerable situations, and how her family and religious background instilled in her a strong sense of justice, generosity and caring for the most needed members of society.

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Putting Theory into Practice: First Outcomes After the Second International Train the Trainers

After participating in the Second International Train the Trainers in April 2017, the 27 new official trainers have been putting into practice all their learnings and moving ahead across a wide range of areas, designing new programs for facilitators, crafting projects to foster peacebuilding, interfaith collaboration, and children and youth participation, as well as working for the prevention of violence against children.

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Tackling Bullying and Violence in Schools Through Value-based Education in Indonesia

The Learning to Live Together Programme (LTLT) was first introduced to Indonesia during a facilitator training workshop conducted by GNRC South Asia and Arigatou International – Geneva, in partnership with the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO in 2012 and with the help of Ms. Wati Wardani and Mr. Fendra Kusmani. Since then, it has reached more than 1,000 children in more than 30 schools in the country.

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