We are delighted that Rifat Odeh Kassis has agreed to join our international Board of Reference.
Rifat is the General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, being one of its founding members. He co-authored the Kairos Palestine documents ‘A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering’, ‘Kairos for Palestine’ and ‘Cry for Hope’: A Call for Decisive Action.
Rifat Kassis was born in Beit Sahour and for more than twenty five years has been a leading figure and expert in the Palestinian, regional and international child rights community.
In 1991, he founded the first child rights organisation in Palestine and was the elected President of the International Executive Council of Defence for Children International in Geneva for seven years. For eight years he ran the Palestinian section of DCI and during this period he founded the DCI movement in the Arab World. Although he left DCI Palestine in December 2014, he is still member of the International Executive Council and serves as the General Commissioner of the DCI movement in MENA region.
Since June 2015 till now he leads GRIP Consulting and conducts consultancies for local and international organisations in the fields of human rights and organisational development.
Rifat Kassis has over 35 years of experience working in different countries and different fields. He was Director of YMCA Rehabilitation Program and later Programs director of YMCA. He worked in Kyrgyzstan representing 3 European donor agencies. He initiated YMCA/YWCA Joint Advocacy Initiative. He worked in Geneva at WCC as manager of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel EAPPI. He co-founded international consulting agency “Alternatives” to support global civil society. He was Lutheran World Federation Representative in Jordan, running their program dedicated to Syrian refugees.
In 1995, he co-founded Alternative Tourism Group (ATG), on justice tourism. Same year, he helped establish ARD/Denal in Chechnya provides rehabilitation services to children. He served as member of Advisory Group to ICCO, Dutch and from 2001 to 2008, he was member of Advisory Group for DanChurch Aid. He was member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda on child welfare from 2008 to 2010.