Who We Are

Sabine Larribeau

Sabine Larribeau is Director of AMERA International. She has worked with, and for, refugees for the past 15 years in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa - specialising in protection, mental health, and coordinated legal and psychosocial case management. Sabine has a particular interest in the interchange between biopsychosocial factors and law, and has developed and implemented programming accordingly. She has worked as a consultant developing programming strategies that target the needs of refugees and migrants. Sabine formerly worked as a director in the executive leadership team at St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) in Egypt. She has a long history with AMERA and its work, having been team leader of the unaccompanied children and youth team at AMERA Egypt a decade ago. Sabine brings to AMERA International a vision and energy for integrated and dynamic refugee legal aid, working for and with refugee communities.

Vittoria Catalfamo

Vittoria Catalfamo is the Rights in Exile Program Coordinator at AMERA. Vittoria is a human rights advocate with experience with refugees ranging from direct assistance in humanitarian settings to advocacy, community activism, and NGO management. Vittoria co-founded the Human Rights Legal Project, which provides direct representation and conducts advocacy and strategic litigation regarding human rights violations impacting displaced people in Greece and beyond. She also co-founded Human Before Borders, an association and digital platform to advocate against the inhumane treatment of refugees. Vittoria holds an MA in Human Rights and Democratisation from the Global Campus of Human Rights, Venice.

Maher

Maher Adam

Maher Adam is AMERA's Administrator. Maher is based in Cairo, where he also works as a Programs Officer at St. Andrew's Refugee Services. Maher has a solid understanding of organisational administrative procedures and policies; this insight and accompanying skills have helped him in his career. He makes the most of opportunities to educate and improve himself to contribute to his development and to the organisations he works for. Maher has an interest in developing and monitoring administrative procedures that support program development. He is driven by a passion to lead and support projects that aim to increase access to free-of-charge legal and psychosocial services for refugees all over the world.

Elif Yararbas

Elif Yararbas is a Projects Consultant at AMERA International, supporting with legal research and drafting. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and an LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights. During her studies she participated in legal research and advocated for transparent decision-making processes within the international protection system in Ireland. Previously she participated in projects which aimed to remove the barriers for inclusion for Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey. Elif is from and is based in Turkey, where she is pursuing further legal studies alongside her other part-time work with NaTakallam language and translation services.

Falastin Hasan

Falastin Hasan provides HR support for AMERA International. She manages volunteer and internship applications, conducts onboarding, and follows up with  administrative needs and wellbeing support for volunteers. She previously worked in psychosocial support with refugees, and provided supervision and training for other psychosocial workers and volunteers. Falastin is multilingual, fluent in Arabic, English, and Somali. She is committed to supporting people from all around the world to access opportunities and work together to strengthen refugee rights.

Sofia Barakou

Sofia Barakou is a Projects Consultant at AMERA, working on the development of AMERA’s Therapeutic Legal Assistance Model. She has been working in migration and asylum providing direct representation in asylum determination proceedings for refugees in Lesvos, Greece. Among others, she was representing survivors of severe forms of violence, victims of torture, and wrongly registered unaccompanied children. Sofia has also worked as a research assistance with the Human Rights Center of University of Ghent, Belgium mainly focused on illegal expulsions, and in advocacy in Belgrade, Serbia, advocating for the rights of LGBTIQ+ community. Sofia currently works as Advocacy Officer with Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid and participates in the Executive Master of Odysseus Network for Legal Studies on Immigration and Asylum in Europe.

Nelly Alejandra

Nelly Alejandra Wilchez Vargas is a Colombian-qualified lawyer. She has a speciallisation degree in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law from the Sergio Arbolelda University in Columbia and a speciallisation degree in Migration Law and Asylum from the Zaragoza University in Spain. She previously worked in Colombia at an entity in charge of the protection and promotion of human rights. Nelly has a master's degree in Public International Law at the Queen Mary University of London. Nelly works on a voluntary basis as a legal researcher, website and content editor for the Rights in Exile Program.

TRUSTEES

Alice Johnson

Alice Johnson heads the Cairo Community Interpreter Project (CCIP) within the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at The American University in Cairo. Since joining CCIP in 2006, she has led refugee interpreter training and technical assistance projects to build rights-based language access with refugee aid organizations in over a dozen countries. Prior to CCIP, Alice worked in the Highlander Research and Education Center language justice program 2002-2004, and in various immigrant community leadership development organizations in the US South since 1993. Alice holds a postgraduate professional diploma in Arabic<>English simultaneous interpreting, a Master of Advanced Studies in Interpreter Training, and a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies, researching rights-based approaches in training refugee interpreters working in refugee aid operations in the Global South.

Griselda Denizi

Griselda Denizi holds a European Law degree from the University of Warwick. She has worked in the Asset Management industry for the last 5+ years specialising in financial analysis, investing and risk management. Griselda has been involved in various forms of charity works since first becoming interested in the field during her school years and has continued ever since, throughout university and beyond. She has worked with charities in the UK, USA, Tanzania and India, predominantly focusing on refugee issues, education and youth empowerment.

Fiona Cameron

Fiona Cameron has worked with refugees in the UK and Egypt for over fifteen years. Fiona is currently the Director of Development at St. Andrew's Refugee Services. She also works as a research assistant at the University of Bedfordshire, where she is a visiting fellow. Fiona is on the board of Across Borders, a UK charity that supports refugees in the UK and in the MENA region. She is currently studying for a PhD in refugee-led service delivery at Napier University, Edinburgh.

Founder

Barbara Harrell-Bond

Barbara Harrell-Bond, OBE, had a D.Phil and an M.Litt in social anthropology from Oxford University. She was a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She founded the Refugees Studies Programme at Oxford University, which expanded rapidly during the years she was director (1982-1996). In 1999, while Visiting Professor at Makerere University, she set up the Refugee Law Project for Uganda. She was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo's Forced Migration and Refugee Studies. She researched and wrote extensively, and a collection of her publications can be found online.  In 2000 she created the Refugee Legal Aid Project for refugees and asylum seekers in Cairo which developed into AMERA-Egypt. She set AMERA International up in the UK in 2003. Barbara passed away on 11 July 2018.