Secretariat Team

Secretariat Team


Rediet Abiy
Programme Manager - Africa

As the Program Manager for Africa, I work with partners in different African countries to implement the Aflatoun Programme and work to establish new partnerships in other countries that have not been involved in the programme. I found Aflatoun a magnificent Programme that can help African Children to become agents for change both in their lives and their community at large.
I am originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I have B.A. in Sociology from Addis Ababa University and Masters in Development Studies with Specialization in Children and Youth Studies from Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Before coming to Holland, I worked as a Program Coordinator for a non-profit organization in Ethiopia that works with Orphans and other vulnerable children. I enjoy reading books and listen to Music and love sports particularly football and jogging in the parks of Den Haag.


Simon Bailey
Head of Advocacy, Research, and Communications

I am the Head of Advocacy, Research and Communications at Aflatoun. My job is to ensure Aflatoun's programmes are working and we are getting the Aflatoun message out.

Prior to working at Aflatoun, I worked in the Canadian Parliament, managed social policy pilot programmes in Canada, and researched microinsurance in Bangladesh.  I have a graduate degree in political theory from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Toronto.

 Portrait_Sophie Sophie Conin
Communications Executive

As Communications Executive at Aflatoun, my job includes crafting our message and communicating it throughout various media. Talking about which, you can also follow us on Twitter @Aflatoun and Facebook ;-)
I hold an MSc in International Affairs, Marketing and Media and more recently an MA in Human Rights, Development and Social Justice. I have worked for over 10 years in marketing, communications and advertising in the for-profit sector. The years prior to my joining Aflatoun, I was knowledge, program and policy advisor in the field of social and political participation and the use of (new) media at Oxfam Novib in The Hague.

Born in Tours, France, I moved to The Netherlands 18 years ago where I live with my partner.

  Oliver Gajda 

Director of Services

As Director of Services at Aflatoun I support a dedicated and professional team in running efficient operations and stakeholder relations. My background spans more than a decade in the business information and services industries, with start-ups, venture capital, private equity and microfinance, both in Europe and the USA. I hold Masters degrees from Solvay Business School (Université Libre de Bruxelles) in business administration and microfinance and from the University of Hamburg in History, and studied Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London). I am happily married and have two wonderful children.



 Elizabeth MacFadyen
Assistant to Executive Director

Elizabeth MacFadyen joined Aflatoun in January 2008 as Assistant to the Executive Director. She is originally from New York, where she worked as a social worker. She moved to the Netherlands in 1995, and has been translating on a freelance basis with a specialization in the social sciences. She has a BA in Sociology from Oberlin College and an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.


Hassan Mahtat
Programme Manager - Francophone Africa and Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

As the Programme Manager for the MENA region, I search and work with different partners in the region to implement the Aflatoun programme. I believe that Aflatoun has an enormous impact on children's daily lives especially their and our future. I am originally from Ait Ouahi, Morocco. I hold an engineering Master in food industry for tropical and developing countries. Prior to Aflatoun, I have worked in the fair-trade and organic agriculture oriented private sector. I enjoy ethnic and 70s music, drawing abstract and sharks but most importantly having a Jordanian breakfast.

Portrait Chiara

Chiara Massaroni
Programme Support Officer

As a Programmes Support Officer, I make sure that the work of the Aflatoun Programme Mangers goes as smoothly as possible, taking care of their daily logistic and programmatic tasks. 

Before working with Aflatoun I worked on rural development and educational projects in Rwanda and Madagascar. I also worked on human rights and political dissidence as a research assistant with Amnesty International in Tunisia. I have a master degree in International Relations and a bachelor degree in Political Science.   



Valerie Meza De León
Programme Manager - Americas

As the Program Manager for the Americas, I work with partners in different countries to implement the Aflatoun Programme. For me Aflatoun is an exciting child centered programme perfectly adapted for children to become agents of change both in their lives and their community at large.

I am originally from Guatemala City. I have a degree in Psychology From Francisco Marroquin University two Masters Degrees: one in Human Development and International Cooperation in the University of Florence and the other one in Management and Environment from the SAFE Institute in Rome. Before starting the Aflatoun adventure I worked for an International NGO working with different programmes for Children and youth in Latin American countries.

I love the experience of living in Europe first in Italy and now in the Netherlands. I enjoy good coffee with friends, Italian food, music, travelling to my beloved region and independent films.



Paul Moclair
Head of Programmes

My main responsibility as Head of Programs is to coordinate the Aflatoun activities in the five regions where we work. Working with the five Program Managers is like being constantly plugged into the mains grid, such is their energy and commitment. I also contribute to the design, development and implementation of strategies contributing to our partners in order to sustainably alleviate poverty in the world.
I am originally from the north of Ireland. After several years of teaching in Asia I took an MA in Theatre for Development (TfD) at the University of Winchester. I have worked as a child rights TfD consultant for INGOs in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Sudan. I also spent two years as a UNAIS volunteer in Palestine, using Forum Theatre with teachers, social workers and children. I live with my wife Lucy in Amsterdam. I enjoy cooking, reading, running,  and playing music.


Ana Rodrigues

Programme Manager Europe

As the Programme Manager for Europe I spend most of my time supporting partners working with the Aflatoun programme. It is an amazing experience to work with many partners from a region as diverse as Europe. I believe that Aflatoun presents new opportunities for children to overcome and improve difficult situations in their lives through using available resources.

I am originally from Cascais, Portugal. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education from Lisbon School of Education and a Masters in Development Studies with Specialization in Children and Youth Studies from Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.Before coming to the Netherlands I worked in several schools and centres in Portugal where I had contact with children from different backgrounds. I also worked for one year with children from a primary school in rural Costa Rica.

What I love most in life is dancing. I also enjoy painting, going to the theatre, eating tasty food and socializing.


Bernice Roldan

Programme Manager - Asia

As Programme Manager for Asia, I work with different partners implementing the Aflatoun programme and reach out to stakeholders to support our work. It is both inspiring and challenging to focus on a diverse region such as Asia. I believe Aflatoun presents children with the opportunity to overcome inequalities and become change-makers in their community.

I am originally from Quezon City in the Philippines. Before joining Aflatoun, I was involved in training Filipino migrants on-site on savings, investment and social entrepreneurship, and lobbying for migrant rights and welfare. I have a Masters in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, specializing in Local and Regional Development, and a B.A. in English Studies: Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines. I enjoy traveling, cooking and photography. I practice yoga and would like to write short stories and essays about my travels someday. 

Hayley Rose
Advocacy Manager

I have worked for Aflatoun for the past 3 years, spending 2 and a half years as the Aflatoun Programme Manager for Europe, working with the European partners to prepare and launch Aflatoun programmes in Europe. Recently, I have begun as Advocacy Manager to to help raise resources globally both for the secretariat team and for the various Aflatoun programmes across the world.

I am originally from Boston, Lincolnshire in the UK. I have a B.A in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Sheffield, where I was also president of the student union. Before coming to Aflatoun I worked at a non-profit training organisation and a London-based children's educational charity. When I'm not working, I can usually be found riding my bike, going for a jog or just generally enjoying the sights and sounds of Amsterdam. I live with my husband Gavin, dog ''Ralphy'', and my two sons ElIiott and Rowan.


Alodia Santos
Senior Programme Manager

As Senior Programme Manager, I am responsible for curriculum development and supporting communication within the network.

I am a development communications professional from the Philippines, where I was involved in educational communication in health financing, sexual and reproductive health, children & youth formation and documentary making. I graduated BA Journalism from the University of the Philippines, and MA Population, Poverty & Social Development from the Institute of Social Studies (the Hague). I spend my empty moments enjoying music, admiring pop-up books, watching films and daydreaming about warmer weather.


Ketevan Sulava 

Programme Manager Central Asia and Eastern Europe

As Program Manager for Central Asia and Eastern Europe I work and frequently interact with our partner organizations in these regions to promote and implement Aflatoun programme in schools and non-formal education setting. I believe Aflatoun’s expert driven yet widely integrative style of work is vital for development strategies in the region.

I come from Tbilisi, Georgia. Before coming to the Netherlands I worked at Save the Children Georgia country office for Children’s Tolerance Education Program. As program officer I was responsible for promoting knowledge about tolerance, gender and human rights among children, their teachers, parents and caretakers. I was also involved in the child and youth peace-building and peace-education projects implemented by the IDP Women Association in Georgia. I have Masters in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, concentrating in Conflict, Reconstruction and Human Security and a B.A. in Structural and Applied Linguistics at Tbilisi State University.

I enjoy spending my spare time traveling with friends and family. I also enjoy drawing and exploring Netherlands on sunny days.

Maartje Tijhuis
Operations Manager

As Operations Manager I make sure the internal organization runs smoothly, like human resources and legal matters. Next to that I am managing relations in the Dutch market. This includes building and maintaining strategic alliances and fundraising. I love to be part of Aflatoun as I believe education (social and financial) is the best way to reach a more equitable world. Being able to help (even if it’s just a little bit) inspire children around the world via the Aflatoun learning materials makes me happy every day.
I was born and raised in Amsterdam (so one of the few Dutchies in the secretariat!). I studied philosophy and chose to leave my job at McKinsey to join Aflatoun. I live on a houseboat with my boyfriend in the North of Amsterdam. A very urban and exciting area as a lot of creative and media organizations are putting up their business here. My personal interests are philosophy (especially Spinoza and Buddhism), music, dancing and sailing the canals with our new small motorboat!


Hidde van der Veer
Executive Director

I worked for almost twenty years in the Dutch diplomatic servce including work on grant making for ngo's and small entrepreneurs in developing countries. I was also the deputy representative for the Netherlands at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As the Executive Director, I am responsible for all aspects of Aflatoun's programmes and advocacy. I look forward to working with partners and stakeholders in the Aflatoun Network.