PEMA Kenya was founded within a context of tragedy and death, when a young gay man, shunned and stigmatized by his family because of his sexual orientation, died in May 2008. There was no one to honor his memory or give him a decent burial. Stunned by such a level of loathing for gay people, a group of gay men in Mombasa came together to find a decent and dignified resting place for him. It was this support of one of their own that gave birth to the Brotherhood. Because of this history, the original membership of PEMA Kenya was comprised of only gay and bisexual men. This has now expanded to include other gender and sexual minorities (GSM).
PEMA is an acronym for a Place of Solace or a Good Place in Kenya. The organization was registered as a Community-Based Organization (CBO) on August 6, 2009. The history of the name, however, dates much earlier to when, in June 2008, “PEMA” (meaning a “good place” in Swahili) was designated as the name of the organisation. PEMA Kenya as a name will remain the same but we have now reclaimed our initial name PEMA Kenya, a Kiswahili word ‘PEMA’ meaning a PLACE OF SOLACE or A PEACEFUL PLACE in Kenya.
We have made a lot of achievements and we the PEMA Kenya family feel that we no longer wish to remain Persons Marginalized and Aggrieved. This was suggested and voted for at the AGM held on 30thJune 2018 and agreed on by all members present.
We will soon be completing our full legal registration as a CHARITABLE TRUST from a Community Based Organization. Our assurance to you is that in spite of this, PEMA Kenya will still ensure that our existing and future partnership will not be affected in any way.