Meet The Team
Some of our amazing youth team members from all over the globe
Timi Barabas, 20, Founder, New Zealand and Hungary
Timi Barabas, 20, Founder and Executive Director, New Zealand and Hungary
Timi is extremely passionate about helping people and making the world a better place. Since she heard 'We Are The World', a song that changed her life at 15, Timi found she must use her life to help others. Over the last few years she has established and coordinated several non profit projects on a national and international level. She is the founder and director of Rise For Lives, the International Funding, Finances and Staff Manager at Climate Live International, and Climate Live's New Zealand founder: where she was in charge of managing 500K+ USD in funding and 20+ staff members around the globe.
She was the funding coordinator for the Activists in Risk Zones FFF Task Force, where she coordinated fundraising of over 200K+ Euros for evacuations from Afghanistan. She has won various awards and recognitions for her work including being the top 5 finalists for the New Zealand Impact Awards (Climate category) in 2021. Timi was a runner up for the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award- Volunteering Waikato- for doing 5000 volunteering hours in 2020/2021.
“We, the young people, want to see a world free of conflicts where no more children have to suffer. I believe that actions speak louder than words and this is why I strongly believe that our work at Rise For Lives is greatly contributing to creating a more peaceful and just world for this and the next generations.”
Beth Claire, 17, Hamilton New Zealand
Beth is passionate about philosophy and human rights. She has been directing Rise For Lives since February 2021 as an adept director after volunteering alongside Timi for a proposal implementing peace education in schools around the United States & New Zealand. Over the past several years she has contributed significantly through volunteering with a range of peace NPO’s, art galleries, museums, Hospice, SVA, SPCA, and has held numerous prose writing roles. She analyzed artifacts for her city museum for 600 pieces contributing to several exhibitions.
She also contributes to activist and party associations, as well as the arts.
In recognition of her volunteering she's received countless awards, including the Hillary Award, CAO Scholarship (Crimson), SVA Top Volunteer Award out of 30K pupils, MoE Scholarships and bursaries in philosophy and theoretical physics. She’s also in the process of writing a paper on tragic dilemmas, alongside several other philosophy & peace essays which she hopes to be published in late September.
In her capacity as our Executive Director she hopes that Rise For Lives will have a lasting and genuine impact on the world.
Quote” We the young people have the power to end wars and save lives, if we come together, work together and unite as one. That’s exactly our key aim at Rise For Lives.”
Aiza Shahid, 17, Pakistan
Aiza is an A2 student who believes in the strength of teamwork, to be able to communicate, agree and implement policies for social benefit. She believes R4L, having a multicultural volunteer circle, has provided the perfect virtual setting to highlight, address and raise awareness on neglected issues.
Quote “ Children are dying and they could be your or my children. Just because it’s not happening to our children doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care just as much as if it was. War is cruel and needs to end.”
Nour Abed, 15, Dubai
Nour Abed is confident that she can improve the future of the world. She is a junior in high school with aspirations of creating world peace. In the seventh grade, she participated in Model Congress and fell in love with the concept of helping others in achieving peace. She decided to develop by joining the Rise For Lives movement after winning multiple Model UN/Congress awards. She is a member of the book club and started a debate club at her school. She was co-leader of her school's chess club. She also co-chaired a Model United Nations at one of Dubai's top schools in 2022. (Founders of Gems). Nour also participated in the 2022 International Virtual Youth Leadership Summit for Peace, when students from all over the world discussed ways to bring peace around the world and in oneself.
“Peace within yourself is something you can achieve individually, while peace around the world is something we all have to work for as one.”
Precious Kalombwana, 30, Zambia
Precious is a youth climate justice activist and a trained Climate Reality Leader who was trained during the global training in July 2020. She is very passionate about climate change action. She has been a prominent youth leader with Extinction Rebellion (XR) Zambia, which she is the national coordinator of ,Rise for Lives, Climate Live as well as Fridays for Future (FFF) Zambia. Her climate actions are always directed at the local community, as she firmly understands the notion that individual climate action is inspired by thinking globally but acting locally. As a young person in Zambia she works with young people together to amplify their voices and pave the way for a thriving Greener future. Precious has represented several organizations at many important climate change events such as COP26.
Quote “As youths around the world we choose peace, no to blood shade and together we are strong.”
Lindah Quynh, 16, Vietnam
Linda is currently the Co-President of her own club, Youth of Science, and Head of Media of Heartbeat Vietnam at school. She has participated in several charity events, including trips to retirement homes, orphanages, underrepresented regions, etc with a goal to bring happiness and positivity to her community. Linda is also a member of the National Honor Society within her school, where she dedicates her time to service by assisting staff members set up school events, etc. She has taken part in helping her clubs set up fundraising events for children with heart diseases, etc. In the future, she sees herself as an individual with a great passion in bringing joy and creating an impact for her community.
Quote “ Peace. A simple word, yet contains a sea of happiness, lives, and equality. We, Rise For Lives, are dedicated to end conflicts worldwide with a goal of bringing peace to our Earth. Say no to war!”
Elaine NYC, US
Elaine is a senior in high school who is passionate about public policy in relation to the economics and business sectors.
She’s done fundraising work, raising thousands of dollars to supply educational resources to students and helped clubs at her high school secure funding. She’s interned at multiple political and governmental offices doing policy research and handling data, igniting her interest in conducting cross-cultural research on policies to discover poverty relief measures for LMICs. This goal has led her to her current roles of Peace Deal Coordinator and NY Representative at Rise for Lives.
Quote“ Peace is the answer. Hundreds of millions suffer due to wars everyday. Innocent people who have done no harm to anyone. War doesn’t play fairly. We must! Let’s end wars!”
Bashiru Don, Sierra Leone
Bashiru is an Entrepreneurial Leader specialized in Conservation, Natural Resource Management, Tourism Product Planning and Development. Bashiru is highly passionate about Youth Advocacy, Climate Justice Advocacy as well as Environmental Health and Safety (Waste Management). Bashiru has a wealth of experience working with Local Community Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Private sector institutions and Research institutions helping programs and projects transition to a more sustainable practice. His professional vision is driving change to create a sustainable future for nature and humanity. Bashiru is the National Coordinator for Climate Live Sierra Leone and also the Africa Co-coordinator for Rise for Lives
“ Peace is the answer no matter what the question is.”
Willow Noome, New Zealand
Willow is passionate about human rights, the environment and the well-being of those within her community. She has been an Amnesty International rapid response member for two years, and was also prefect at her ex high school where she was the leader of a dance club, Students Against Dangerous Driving Club and member of the environment club. It was here that she organised the World Vision 40 hour famine competitions which to raised thousands.
Willow also organised a fundraiser for a children's hospital where she encouraged staff and students to donate their old stuffed animals/ toys to children in need. In 2020 she was also on the Hawke's Bay Youth Environmental Council alongside the Napier Youth Council where she was the voice for young people to instigate meaningful and positive change within her community.
She currently studies a Bachelor of Laws - LLB, Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland.
Kimberly Sabmeethavorn, New Zealand
Kimberly is most passionate about helping people. Growing up, she developed strong ideas, clear communication and integrity through seeing and helping her community - with eventing charities, fundraisers and organising significant donations. She is originally from Thailand, and for years has led projects that collect and donate packs to help students in Thailand who don’t have enough food to eat.
In 2021 she was one of the main coordinators of the Hawkes Bay Rise For Lives peace walk for Yemen which was attended by hundreds. She also ran Rise For Lives fundraisers in her high school that helped raise funds for Save the Children.
Keisya Gunawan, 17, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Keisya is passionate about helping others and bringing light to a range of social and global issues. She joined Rise For Lives in March of 2022 as a Student Coordinator, where has since organized a 500 person event at Stratford High School for Ukraine. She is a member of the Stratford Youth Council and Stratford High Schools Student Council, where she has been involved in the organization of various charity events, including those from St. John, Taranaki Women's Refuge New Zealand, etc.
Keisya was also involved in The Aotearoa Youth Declaration (AYD), which gave her opportunities to solve the issues facing Aotearoa New Zealand’s education centre through research and debate. As SDYC chairperson and Stratford advisor of the Whanganui Youth MP, Keisya is planning to manage projects that will help youths in her electorate find academic and career-based opportunities.
Tafadzwa Chando, 25, Zimbabwe
Tafadzwa is the African continent coordinator for Rise For Lives where he is in the process of recruiting and onboarding Rise For Lives teams in over 7 conflict affected countries in Africa. He is a youth and climate activist based in Zimbabwe. Tafadzwa is the founder of Magna Youth Action (a youth-led environmental and youth empowerment movement) and former Communications Director of the International Youth Fellowship and is the youth President for Birdlife Zimbabwe.
He has volunteered for over 10 years and launched environmental awareness clubs in over 50 institutions in Southern Africa. Since early 2020 he has been coordinating Climate Live Zimbabwe and has also been helping to coordinate things internationally for Climate Live. In October 2021 he became one of its two international full time coordinators where he has coordinated a large team of people running environmental events in over 20 countries in October 2021 and has also managed major funding for Climate Live in Africa.
Since early 2022 he has been in charge of onboarding more than 20 new MAPA countries joining Climate Live in 2022.
”We choose peace! Conflict is never the answer! As young people from Rise for Lives we are taking charge of our today, for a brighter tomorrow which is free from wars and conflicts! “
Rata is passionate about social justice, our planet and people - building bonds of unity and love! Her skills are primarily in written communication; speech-writing, manifesto writing, formal communications.
She has experience in local government, for example writing Council submissions for the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. She also has experience in critical-thinking, team-work and joining groups together to successfully work on projects, like bringing the community together for the first and second School Strike for Climate in Tairawhiti - Gisborne - the largest protests in Tairawhiti's history. She was a national semifinalist for the Race Unity Speech Awards in 2019,and has been a Prefect in her high school and a Hospice Youth Leader. She was also involved in both the Multiethnic Youth Leaders Network this year, and the Climate Clinic's efforts to track the accountability of public organisations to the Government's Carbon Neutral Pledge by 2025.
She currently volunteers for the Red Cross, and has taken papers at the Victoria University of Wellington on the History of the Middle East, NZ Political History, Religious Studies, as she believes empathy and compassion are the only way that we can move towards a more peaceful world.
Lexi has been a Prefect and Class President at her school during 2021. Over the past years she has taken a leading role in her schools World Vision and Operation Christmas Child Fundraising teams. She has also been a Launchpad presenter, English tutor for year 9 and 10 students struggling with reading and was also a Peer support student at her school.
In 2019 at age 15 Lexi received a scholarship from Southern Cross-Cultural Exchange programme which allowed her to spend 3 months in Finland on exchange learning Finish and working on local projects. Lexi is passionate about helping people on any scale, but is particularly interested in doing this medicinally and politically and is studying Health Sciences First Year at University of Otago in 2022.
Beautienna is passionate about helping others and doing her part for the common good. She is apart of the Student Volunteer Army and Young Vinnies (youth of St Vincent De Paul Association) that are both dedicated to helping the wider community. She has done a range of volunteer work from care packages for the homeless, to administration work at COVID vaccination centres. She recently joined the New Zealand Peace Foundation as an ambassador, where they have begun plans for this year's Youth Peace week. Beautienna previously worked in the role as the Student Trustee on the Board of Trustees, and is now the Head of Service at her school (Marian College) where she is also an active member of the Student Executive Council, wellbeing team and other in school initiatives.
She finds purpose in serving others and believes that human rights and social justice should be readily available for everyone. Beautienna wanted to join Rise For Lives to actively educate others and learn from everyone involved along the way. She hopes to be able to spark conversations and help bring light to the issues many people in the world face as result of conflict.
Luisa Dewar (she/her) is a 19 year old activist based in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa. She assists Rise For Lives in a range of administration activities under the role of personal assistant. She became involved in Rise for Lives early April this year. Some of her passions include a deep love for women's history, supporting youth issues and baking.
Other work of hers is with womenshistorynz.org, a non profit organisation for telling the stories of woman's history. As well as work within Young Labour. She is currently studying a BA in Cultural studies and political science at University of Canterbury.
Joanna Jiang, 18, Auckland New Zealand
Joanna is passionate about social justice issues and wants to make a difference. She wanted to be a part of the social media team at Rise for Lives to help the amazing team advocate for the most urgent social justice issues of our time.
She has been a peer mentor, and tutored students in English and Math at her school. She has also volunteered at Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital, the Royal Oak school carnival, and UN Youth. She is currently a first year student at the University of Auckland.
Lewis , Kenya
Lewis Lugalia is an adept recent graduate of International studies and diplomacy from the university of Strathmore in Nairobi Kenya. He also assisted a high level official of the United Nations branch office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs OCHA, as an assistant in official capacity. He has enthusiasm in all things international relations with regards to their impacts and ramifications on contemporary societies today. He is also a top rated writer with a keen eye for detail and has a high reputation on writing platforms such as 'Upwork'. He also has proficiency and certification in foreign languages such as Spanish. He also volunteered as a researcher for 'Rise for lives' organization since July 2022 and is now an incumbent personal assistant to the organization's founder.
Obianuju (Zinny) , Nigeria/Hungary
Obianuju, alias Zinny, sings, produces, and writes Neo-soul. She has a biology degree from the Federal University of Technology Minna, a social psychology diploma, and a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Second Language). Obianuju is multi-creative, therefore it's not surprising that she's drawn to social issues. In 2020, she founded "The Mind Revolution" She believes mentality change may change lives. Outdated mindsets and practices that stifle creativity, logic, and critical thinking can be changed. Obianuju uses her arts in sharing stories and creating awareness for social change. She is Timi's executive assistant. She researches and comes up with innovative Riseforlives peace campaign concepts.