Arigatou International Geneva was established to serve as the Secretariat of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children and also to represent the organization in international affairs, serve as UN liaison office and to work with other Child Rights organizations in Geneva.

Maria Lucia Uribe

Director Arigatou International Geneva

Secretary General Interfaith Council

Maria Lucia is in charge of the strategic direction of the office, the management of its ethics education program through its enhancement, further development and partnerships, and of developing and maintaining the Arigatou International engagement in child rights initiatives with UN agencies and child rights focused NGOs. Previous to her appointment Maria Lucia was Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator for Education and Fragility for the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), and for five years she served as Program Officer for Arigatou International.  Maria Lucia holds a Master in Peace and Conflict Transformation, a specialization in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and a Bachelor degree in International Relations and Finance.

Vera Leal

Ethics Education Program Officer

Vera is the current Ethics Education Program Officer at Arigatou International Geneva in charge of the strategic coordination of the area of training and implementation of the ethics education program.  Vera holds a degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources with Specialization in Training Management. She served as GNRC Youth coordinator from February 2012 to June 2013.  In this position she was in charge of organizing international youth meetings and bringing the GNRC youth from around the world together. Previous to her engagement with Arigatou, Vera worked with several organizations on trainings in citizenship education and positive parenting.  Vera is an official trainer of the Learning to Live Together Programme. She speaks Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.

Eleonora Mura

Program Officer

Eleonora is in charge of partnership development and ressource mobilisation as well as program design and advocacy, working in particular at the design of the knowledge hub for ethics education for children. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of sustainable and inclusive development working with international organisations and NGOs both in the field and headquarters. Prior to her engagement with Arigatou International Geneva, Eleonora worked for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (international IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden. She also worked in the field of education and non discrimination while supporting the work of a start-up NGO in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as while working as a consultant for the Roma Education Fund, based in Budapest Hungary. Both organisations have the mandate to promote inclusive education for the Roma minority in Central and Eastern Europe. Eleonora also worked for the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the Embassy of Italy to Syria and the United Nations Volunteers Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. She holds a Master degree in International and Public Affairs from the LUISS School of Government and a Master degree in International Relations, specialising in Human Rights protection from the University of Florence. Eleonora is originally from Italy and speaks Italian, English, French, Czech and Spanish.

Paula Ananías

Paula Ananías

Communications Officer

Paula is originally from Chile. She graduated from Humanities with a specialization in History and a minor in Social Communications. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Previous to her engagement with Arigatou she founded and managed her own textile company in Chile. The main vision of this company was to give constant and well-paid work to working-class women, who had to take care of their children at home, by providing them with technical training to overcome poverty. For nine years, Paula worked as a volunteer teaching and organizing weekly activities for children and adolescents in her local church in Chile. She speaks Spanish and English and has basic knowledge of French, Greek, and Latin.

Maritza Vitela

Administrative Assistant

Maritza has a personal commitment to society and social justice and has developed her professional career in those areas. She has over 15 years of experience working on logistics and organizing conferences at local, regional and international levels for faith-based organizations and NGOs active in the field of human and cultural rights. Maritza has previously worked as an assistant for Directors at different institutions and NGOs in Geneva, mainly active in the fields of health, human rights, rights for women and girls, education and interfaith.

Maritza is an active church member and especially interested in making her community reach out to migrants and local social associations in the city of Geneva.

Maritza is originally from Mexico. She speaks English, French, Spanish and basic Dutch.


Dorel Gorga


Dorel is originally from Romania, and has lived in Switzerland for 14 years. With more than 17 years of experience working in accounting in Romania and Switzerland, he is an expert in tailored accounting and advising SMEs and NGOs in administrative and accounting processes.

Dorel graduated from Electronics Engineering and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in IT from the University of Iasi; he also holds a specialization in the field of Educational Technology from the University of Geneva and a Diploma in Accounting. Dorel speaks Romanian, French, English and German.

Suchith Abeyewickreme

Ethics Education Program Coordinator - Asia

Suchith is in charge of the promotion, dissemination, training and general implementation of the ethics education programme in the Asian region.  Previous to his engagement with Arigatou International he was part of a Community Solutions Program Fellowship with the United States Department of State, where he worked with Search for Common Ground on conflict resolution and peace building for four months in Washington D.C.  From 2009 to 2012 he was the GNRC South Asia Program Manager.  Prior to his engagement with GNRC, Suchith worked for seven years with AIESEC, where he held several national and regional leadership positions.  Suchith is an official trainer of the Learning to Live Together Programme, and is pursuing post-graduate studies in Conflict Transformation and Peace. He speaks Sinhalese and English and is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sandra Yépez Ríos

Communications Consultant

Sandra is a communications specialist with 10 years experience in content writing, media outreach and advocacy. Previous to her engagement with Arigatou International, she worked as reporter and editor for printed and online media, covering current affairs in a wide range of topics. She also served as communications assistant for NGOs in Latin America as well as in Japan, where she lived from 2012 to 2016. Sandra holds a Master in Cultural Studies with a major in Communications, and a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Communications. She is originally from Ecuador and she speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and has knowledge of Japanese.

Masue Suzuki

Coordinator, Awareness Raising
International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood

Masue brings 15 years of experience in cultivating and managing interfaith collaboration and dialogue for children, with particular focus on child protection issues. Prior to joining the Arigatou International – Geneva team, she was a consultant at UNICEF HQ for the UNICEF Volunteer Initiative and Child Protection. As Senior Programme Officer at Arigatou International – New York, she managed relationships with a network of practitioners and leaders within faith-based, grassroots organizations in 25 plus countries, mobilizing action for children each year for the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. As an International Trainer of the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programmeshe trained educators and practitioners at various workshops and has worked with children and youth from different cultural and religious backgrounds. She is a Japanese national and currently lives in New York, USA.

Zoe Williamson

Communications and Advocacy Intern

Zoe holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations with Spanish from the University of Sussex, England. She obtained her Master’s (MSc) degree in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she undertook a human-rights based approach to climate justice and sustainable development for future generations. Her Masters dissertation examined the role and obstacles of non-governmental organizations in the co-production and dissemination of climate information to civil society. Alongside her academic studies, Zoe has undertaken previous communications roles in Switzerland, Hungary, and England, working with local and international non-governmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, and UN agencies in the realm of development, fair trade, and human rights.

Zoe’s main responsibilities at Arigatou International – Geneva involve writing articles and reports on the main activities of Arigatou, developing web pages, mapping advocacy opportunities, supporting the preparation of events, and the creation of social media content. She is particularly interested in the role of advocacy and communication strategies in inciting change in behavior and policy.

Zoe is originally Swiss-Irish, and speaks English, French, and Spanish.

Christian Johns

Research Intern

Christian is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and African-American studies from Colgate University in New York State. As a junior at Colgate, Christian has taken courses surrounding international relations, American politics, economics, and the African Diaspora. He is devoted to understanding the complex intersection of political realities, law, and ethics. Christian joined Arigatou as a part of his study abroad experience in Geneva, Switzerland. However, Arigatou is not his first internship experience as he worked as a legal assistant at Johnson, Blumberg & Associates and as a volunteer coordinator at Nicole Johnson for the 20th Ward in Chicago. 

In addition to his studies, Christian commits his time to public service by serving as the Secretary of Campus Affairs in Colgate’s Student Government Association, co-president of the Black Student Union, and vice-president of Brothers. 

Christian is from the United States of America, lives in Chicago, USA, speaks English and French.


Nathalie Menyimana

Research Intern

Nathalie is committed to human rights, with a particular interest in children’s rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Rwanda where she wrote a dissertation on the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts with a focus on the Great Lakes Region. She also holds a Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Nathalie is currently enrolled in MAS in children’s rights at the University of Geneva.

Nathalie has worked with different NGOs, local and international, on the issue of women’s and children’s rights. While interning at Arigatou International, she holds the position of legal researcher at International Women’s Initiative (IWI) as a volunteer and her responsibilities mainly involve writing articles and reports on trendy topics related to women’s and children’s rights. She has also worked with Trial international where she first produced a research on a topic related to human rights and later as a translator – from Kirundi to French and vice versa – with victims of international crimes of torture and sexual violence.

Nathalie is originally from Burundi and speaks Kirundi, French, English, Kinyarwanda and has knowledge of Swahili.