ASA brought a talented team of people together to work towards achieving its goals.  ASA's board of directors is comprised of 7 committed and creative volunteers who live in Switzerland.  They work closely with carefully chosen partners in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


In Switzerland



Simone Littlejohn

Simone Littlejohn is a founding member of ASA.  

She is co-owner of Ahead With English, an English language school for children in Basel, Switzerland and  co-author of Family Fun – A Guide to Outings in the Basel Area.  She has a BA in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Civilian Peace Building from the University of Basel/Swisspeace.  She is American and Swiss and grew up in Rio de Janeiro.  She is delighted to give back to the community she grew up in through ASA.  She has 3 teenage daughters and enjoys cooking, hiking and playing tennis in her spare time.

Vice President

Sjoukje Neil

Sjoukje joined ASA's board in 2019.

Biography to come


Secretary and Membership Coordinator

Claire Connolly

Claire joined ASA's board in 2018.

Biography to come 



Jeanne Darling

Jeanne Darling is a founding member of ASA.

She is a retired educator, having held both educational and administrative positions. In 1991 she served as a founding director of Tiny Tots (now known as Early Learning Association), the first English language daycare center in Basel, Switzerland.  She also taught at the International School in Basel.  Born and educated in the U.S., she earned a Masters in Human Development with a major in Early Childhood Education from Harvard University and became a passionate advocate for children’s right to an education that best meets their developmental needs.  She has two grown children, one currently living in the U.S. and the other in Basel.


Website, Social Media Coordinator and Treasurer

Lou Kelly

Lou joined ASA's board in 2017.

Lou is from the south of England and earned her degree in Psychology at Portsmouth Polytechnic.  After living and working for several years in London Lou was living by the sea in Chichester, working for Marks and Spencers, when the call came to move to Basel in 2001.  Lou loves living in Switzerland and after both her children were born in Basel and now growing up in the Swiss school system she can't imagine ever living anywhere else. Lou is thrilled to be a able to help ASA achieve its mission to further education for those in need.  Lou's hobbies include walking her dog, reading and Ettingen Fasnacht.

Events Coordinator

Andrea Falcigno

Andrea joined ASA's board in 2018. 

Andrea was born in Basel and is currently studying English and Sociology at the University of Basel. Her parents came to Switzerland in 1992 from the United States for a short assignment and ended up staying for good. She attended local Swiss school from Spielgruppe all the way to Gymnasium and speaks English and German fluently.  Event planning has always been an interest of Andrea's and she is excited to develop these skills volunteering for ASA.  In addition to her weekly horseback riding class, she enjoys doing calligraphy, singing, travelling, and meeting with friends and family in Basel.

Member of the Board

Kate Maguire

Kate joined ASA's board in 2019.

Biography to come


In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 


UMPMRS Project Coordinator

Alanna Campus

Alanna Campus is an American living in Rio de Janeiro.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked closely with the União de Mulheres Pró-Melhoramentos da Roupa Suja (UMPMRS) since it was founded in 2002.  Along with the women directors of UMPMRS she has helped the organization develop into a full service daycare and community based center.  She has three children and her hobbies include running, swimming and cultivating organic mushrooms.


UMPMRS Director

Márcia Ferreira da Costa

Márcia Ferreira da Costa is from Rocinha.  She founded União de Mulheres Pró-Melhoramentos da Roupa Suja (UMPMRS) in 2002 and has been providing childcare services in her community since then.  UMPMRS offers a safe and nurturing environment for the children of the working poor in Rocinha, the largest favela (slum) in the city of Rio de Janiero.  It offers the children three meals a day along with medical treatment and the services of a social worker as needed. The after school program serves as a safe setting for children to study and helps to keep them off the streets. 


ASA English Teacher

Jakeline Laureano

Jakeline Laureano is from Rocinha.  She is working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and English at Universidade Estácio de Sá in Rio de Janeiro.  She worked as a kindergarten teacher at UMPMRS before she started teaching English at UMPMRS for ASA.



To contact any one of us, click here to send an email: 


IBAN: CH42 0900 0000 6105 4707 2

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