PEMA Kenya


Our team

Catherine Kariuki


Catherine is a community advocate, civic educator and self identifying feminist championing for the inclusion and rights of Lesbians Bisexuals and Queer since 2012. She has a trained facilitator and had a background in peer counselling. She represents LBQ affairs in the board by making sure that they are included fairly in the work of the organization.

Nelly Samuel

Board Member

Nelly is a feminist and Human Rights Activist who offers advice on religion and sexuality procedures and acts to promote and protect human rights for all. He’s an intersex person with grade two in motor vehicle mechanics with excellent project management, communications and analytical skills, proficiency at organizing trainings, development and team building initiatives to cement goals and drive competitive growth, creativity and strong leadership.

He is also a LILO Identity facilitator, a LILO Peer Counsellor, and a life skills and team building trainer who attended the ISOGIE Training of Trainers in South Africa, 2019. He is also a religion and sexuality trainer at the national and regional level.

Diana Letion

Board member

Diana is a dedicated Human Rights practitioner with extensive experience in case management and monitoring, documentation and reporting of incidences of human rights violations.

She is currently the Knowledge Manager at Defenders Coalition taking lead in development of data into information crucial to informing the safety and security of human rights actors.

A meritorious graduate in International Relations who is adept with a wide variety of complex, difficult and sensitive situations.

Letion remains a Highly motivated and positive individual committed to and dedicated to the cause of justice and in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Kevin Mwachiro

Board Member

Kevin is a writer, journalist, podcaster, and queer activist. Kevin’s first book is, Invisible – Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community. He was part of the editorial team for Boldly Queer – African Perspectives on Same-sex sexuality and gender diversity.

His first play, Trashed was published in the anthology Six in the City – Six Short Plays on Nairobi and his poems are published in the Pan African queer anthology, Walking The Tightrope.   His most recent work is the short story, Number Sita is that is published in the anthology, Nairobi Noir.  In 2017 he launched a story-telling podcast, called Nipe Story, which produces audio versions of short-story fictional stories from the African continent.

Working in collaboration with the Gay Kenya Trust and the Goethe Institut – Nairobi, Kevin is a co-founder of the Out Film Festival which is the first LGBTQI film festival in East Africa. Kevin currently serves on the board of the LGBQ coalition, Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya – GALCK and Amnesty International- Kenya.

Ishmael Bahati

Executive Director

Mr Bahati, is a co-founder in both PEMA-Kenya and the Centre for Minority Rights and Strategic Litigation (CMRSL). He has served in the Key Population consortium steering committee and Global Fund’s Kenya Coordination Mechanism, Community Advisory Board (CAB) KEMRI representing interests of Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs).

He is a certified trainer in Comprehensive Sexuality Education and religion.

As a member of the GIN Speaker Bureau, was selected to prepare a statement for the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that would ensure the respect of the principle of non-discrimination and equality in law and in practice, including LGBTI persons of faith.

Mr. Bahati also sits as a board member in the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK)

Clifford Okoth

Head of Programs

Clifford is a human and health rights activist. He ensures effective and efficient Program development, implementation, and management (including operations and administration) of the organization’s projects in all the target areas. The H.O.P works in close collaboration with the Executive Director (ED) to articulate both organizational and program Policy & guidelines and influencing the roll-out of the same. Prior to this position, Clifford worked as a PEMA Kenya’s Program Officer In-charge of Health for 6 years. Clifford brings on board expertise on mental and psychological health, community stakeholders mobilization and network.

Susan Waheire

Head of finance

As a Head of Finance, the position is responsible for the financial health of PEMA Kenya. Producing financial reports, grants management and developing strategies based on financial research. She also guides Senior Executives in developing financial well-being of the organization by providing financial projections, and accounting services, making.

Prior to this position, Ms. Waheire worked as a Finance Assistant at the National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders, currently known as the Defenders Coalition. She brings on board expertise in tax and Financial Management.

Obwanda Oluoch

P.O - POlicy & Advocacy

 The position is responsible for facilitating advocacy and lobbying by PEMA-K focusing on identified strategic areas of focus. The incumbent is to identify, prioritize and analyze the issues that affect the day to day life of gender and sexual minority persons in the target areas; and tracking implementation of policies relating to these areas at various levels (community, county and national). Mr. Ksavery brings with him a vast experience in advocacy, project implementation and training of community members on areas of HIV and human rights with special focus to gender and sexual minorities.

Louis Sidigu

P.O - Social & Economic wellbeing

He ensures our LGBTQ community accesses the social and economic opportunities available to improve their wellbeing. One of the major focuses, however, is to improve access to religious institutions by removing barriers to inclusion. Prior to this position, Mr. Sidigu worked as a Procurement Officer in Toyo Construction Co. Ltd under the Mombasa Port Development Project. He brings on board expertise in Philosophy, Religion and Social Science.

Maximillah Kidali

M&E Officer

Ms Kidali believes in upholding human rights for all. She has vast experience in project management but majored in Monitoring and Evaluation. Maxi brings on board expert-level understanding of performance evaluation, including the assessment of metrics, comparative analysis, and future projections based off of improvement.

Prior to this position, Ms. Kidali worked as a program Officer and M &E under LINKAGES Project

Makhoveh Cosam

ICT Officer

Mr. Makhoveh is in charge of PEMA’s Information, Communication and Technology aspects both internally and externally through providing technical support over the phone and in person, and maintaining the smooth operation of the ICT resources in PEMA Kenya secured network and communication infrastructure in order to guarantee the efficiency and normal operations of the office. Mr. Cosam also ensures the delivery of the services on information systems and telecommunications to all staff. Prior to this position, he worked as a Communications Officer and a research coordinator for the ‘Assumptions Project’ by the VU University – Netherlands in collaboration with BIEA, Ghetto Foundation and HOYMAS Kenya. He holds a degree in Information Communications and Technology.

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