Andrea Kaufmann is World Vision’s Senior Advisor for External Engagement, building faith-based partnerships to collaborate and advocate for fullness of life for children. Andrea is passionate about the unique and essential role of local faith communities for sustainable global humanitarian, development and advocacy work. Her experience includes grassroots development, partnerships with local faith actors, communications, program design, management and evaluation. She has also had the opportunity to learn from and with Channels of Hope practitioners and facilitators around the world.
Dialogue Knowledge Hub
Children on the Move: Faith in Action
According to UNICEF, an estimated 50 million children are on the move in the world today. Some are refugees or asylum seekers, others are internally displaced due to conflict and violence, and millions more have lost their homes in natural disasters.
In response, faith-based organizations have joined together through the Children on the Move coalition which works to end violence against refugee, immigrant and internally displaced children. During this webinar, experts from Arigatou International, Joint Learning Initiative and World Vision International will look at the realities and challenges for children on the move, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This webinar will also look at the unique contributions of faith communities, such as providing spiritual support for children and their caregivers, offering protection and working to combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination.
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Dr. Olivia Wilkinson is the Director of Research at the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities. She is a qualitative researcher with expertise in religion, secularism, and international humanitarian action and development. She has partnered with many different humanitarian and development organizations to produce research on topics including localization, refugee response, and peace and conflict. Her new book is called "Secular and Religious Dynamics in Humanitarian Response" and unpicks how secularity is one of many privileges and biases in the humanitarian system, making aid unfair and inappropriate.
Rebeca Rios-Kohn is a citizen of Uruguay and France with 30 years of experience working for the United Nations in the areas of international law, human rights, women and children’s rights. After receiving a Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond, in Virginia she practiced law in the states of Virginia and New York. Thereafter, she held senior level positions with UNICEF and United Nations Development Programme where she advocated for human rights rights policy issues with diverse policy-makers, government officials, parliamentarians, judges, and religious leaders.
Ms. Rios-Kohn authored a number of articles and academic papers for law journals, developed studies and training materials on a wide range of subjects, and co-authored Protecting the World’s Children, a UNICEF publication (2007). During her tenure with the UN, she worked in over 30 countries leading advocacy initiatives promoting children’s rights and well-being. Since 2015 she is Director of Arigatou International New York Office, a not for profit organization working for children with headquarters in Japan and leads the initiative Prayer and Action for Children. She was one of the lead writers of the Faith and Children’s Rights: A Multi-religious Study on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was developed by Arigatou International in close collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, published in 2019 and available at: www.arigatouinternational.org.
Fred Nyabera is the Director of the Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty at Arigatou International. He is a social scientist and a trained theologian with interest in development work. His skills and experience include intra- and interreligious dialogue & action, leadership development, peacebuilding and mediation. He has undertaken graduate and post graduate studies in Sociology, Anthropology, Divinity, Conflict Transformation and Organizational Leadership at the University of Nairobi, Union Biblical Seminary – India, Eastern Mennonites University, Virginia - U.S.A and Africa International University. Previously he served as a pastor at the Nairobi Baptist Church and Karen Community Church. He also served as the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa – FECCLAHA (a regional peacebuilding NGO with membership in ten countries).
He is a recipient of the, 2019 “Spirit of the United Nations.” The award is presented to members of the UN community including ambassadors, UN Staff, NGOs, and youth representatives ¬for upholding the founding spirit of the United Nations.
Renáta Nelson is the Coordination Officer, at the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) in Vienna, Austria. Ms. Nelson completed a BA with a major in Political Science with minor in Religion and History from Rutgers University in 2002 and a MA in International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in 2008. She has been working on programs and projects in intercultural and interreligious dialogue during her 6 years at KAICIID. Her particular focus has been the work on the implementation of the Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence in partnership with the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and leading the SDG16 work stream within the GIZ-launched Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development. To-date Ms Nelson’s research has included research projects on interreligious dialogue, education, and the role of religious actors in contributing to the achievement of SDG16.