Phelister Abdalla is the National Coordinator of Kenya Sex Workers Alliance. She is a founder of African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) and one of the pioneers of the Sex Workers Movements in Africa. Before joining KESWA, Phelister worked for ICRH Kenya as a peer educator and zone leader leading in the organization’s advocacy and peer mobilization.
Phelister is on the front line in creating awareness and advocating for the rights of sex workers at national, regional and global levels including lobbying and advocacy for policy reform and leading in decriminalization of sex work process in Kenya.
She is known for her articulation in addressing critical issues such as stigma and discrimination; violence faced by sex workers, community of sex workers empowerment and inclusion of the sex workers agenda across the country and across Africa.
Her dedication to highlighting the issues of sex workers, places her as a strategic Key Populations ally to the Global network of sex work projects (NSWP) , Global Network of people living with HIV (GNP+) and the Global Fund acting as a regional expert on Global fund issues.
Phelister also serves on numerous committees and board of directors representing sex workers and Key Populations in Africa and globally.
Her expertise in advocacy ,lobbying and human rights has seen her travel to different countries like Ukraine, United States of America, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Kingdom of Cambodia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uganda among many others.
Bradley Njukia Muracia
Deputy National Coordinator
Bradley Njukia Muracia famously known as “Brad or the Zulu Boy” is the Deputy National Coordinator for the Kenya sex workers alliance, he is a young human rights defender and a young key populations advocate who is extremely tenacious, self-proclaimed, self-driven, ambitious and enthusiastic about the rights of key populations particularly the sex workers and the SOGIE communities in Kenya.
He is a qualified Public Relations and Communications professional from the Multimedia University College of Kenya and Nairobi Aviation College in Nairobi, Kenya with training on strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics, international business communication, customer service, marketing, advertising as well as trying to influence opinion and behavior.
He has worked with various organizations’ in different capacities such as ASWA (SWAA-Programs Officer) ISHTAR-MSM (Research Assistant and Research coordinator), HOYMAS (HCBC assistant, Project Coordinator, Receptionist), previously in KESWA as a Communications and Community Liaison Officer and National AIDS and STIs Control Programme in Community Research.
He has been a trainer of trainers in the Aids and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) in the year 2015 and won the most coveted award “Dresser of the Year-2015”. He is a member of the National SOGIE Research Advisory Committee (G10) which exists to ensure meaningful community engagement, development and ownership of research undertakings; the relevance of research agenda and shared findings. He was actively involved in the development of The G10 2016/17-2018/19 roadmap for enhancing and sustaining meaningful research collaboration and partnership between the SOGIE community, researchers and donors. This roadmap highlights top community research agenda, builds on past and current (including community led) research initiatives, and lays clear pathways for enhancing meaningful SOGIE community engagement and ownership, community research literacy and inform future research.
He has been interviewed and featured in local print media such as the Nairobian, The star and the standard newspaper on issues around LGBTI and sex work in Kenya. He has also featured in the “Amplifying Voices” decade edition 2005-2015 of the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) where he speaks about empowerment of young sex workers in Kenya and the Africa region as a whole.
His work and expertise in research has taken him to different countries such as: Canada, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Benin, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, and Zambia.
Carolyne is a sex worker rights activist and is living positively as an accomplished advocate of health issues including comprehensive HIV prevention treatment, care and services. Being an active sex worker from a minor she found her voice and uses it to bring the issues of sex workers, gay men and others to policymakers, researchers and other powerbrokers. She's fierce and have passion to advocate for health and human rights of sex workers.2009 she was a volunteer peer educator at the sex workers outreach project (SWOP) city and was trained by NASCOP as a peer educator and a trainer of trainers. Joined KESWA in 2012 as a volunteer and was mentored as a community office assistant, currently Carolyne is a program officer for Linkages project at KESWA.
Gladys Wairimu Njau
Gladys Wairimu Njau joined Kenya Sex Workers Alliance in early 2015 as a Finance and administration officer. She is a qualified public accountant having gone through the CPAs course and vast experience in the auditing background.
Her passion including others are seeing sex workers grow in various technical capacities, rendering a listening ear to hurt and afflicted hearts of people from all walks of life and speaking hope to all situations among others.
Among her favorite things she has done in her career walk is lecture in an Accounting college.
All time favorite quote, ‘’This too shall pass….
John Maina Wambui
John Maina Wambui born on 12 Dec 1995 is an upcoming young professional with a keen liking to advocacy surrounding human rights. He’s passionateaboutbeing part of the movement that’ll bring recognition and equal treatment of sexual orientation and gender minorities and people in the sex industry.
Early life and education:
John was born in Karatina, Nyeri where he attended Kirigu primary school and Kirimara high school. He then joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he is currently pursuing a degree in Statistics. He also got accredited for completing a Monitoring and Evaluation certificate in JKUAT.
This is the second year for John as a career person. He was a data intern at Health Options for Young Men on HIV/AIDs and STIs (HOYMAS) where he later became an outreach worker. He is currently engaged by KESWA as the monitoring and evaluation person.
In the 2 years that John has been in the movement, John has been part of planning, implementation and monitoring of interventions around advocacy, HIV/AIDs response and community engagement. These have contributed to his capacity to handle data issues competently and be a positive addition to the movement as a whole.
Humility, kindness, comradery and open-mindedness are values that John treasures and these give him the drive to work against disregard for the dignity of marginalized communities.
Munjiru Wanjiru is a young, vibrant and ambitious female sex worker. Currently working at the Kenya sex workers alliance as the legal officer tasked with handling legal issues pertaining the organisation and also to pay an advisory role and to give the legal perspective.
She previously worked as an intern at KESWA and later assimilated as an employee in the organisation between these periods she worked as an attachee at the Nakuru law courts where she gained vast experience on the judiciary and matters of law.
By going through law school in a community full of people from diverse backgrounds, she has built resilience and the power to handle tough issues thrown at her. The passion in her pushes her to great lengths to working towards a society that recognises sex work as work.
she has the opportunity to interact with policy makers and been able to influence policies that directly affect issues of sex workers and development of frameworks that are aimed at making the life of sex workers easier in the country and to protect our rights.
Pauline Nyambura Waithera
Pauline Nyambura Waithera is a passionate and professional human rights advocate in Kenya. She has been a sex worker for the past nine years. Currently, she is working with Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA) as the lead field officer. She has previously held two positions in KESWA- advocacy officer and assisting in program implementation. Her passion for a free and equal country is only paralleled by her professionalism in working across the Kenyan key population movement.
In 2008 she was one of the founders of a sex worker led group known as walking girl. She acted as chairlady for 3 years and most of her work was on advocating for women empowerment.
Later, she joined bar hostess and empowerment support program (BHESP) as a peer educator and she served for 2 years before she was promoted to an outreach worker position and later a paralegal officer. In 2013 she applied for a position as a faculty member of the Sex Workers’ Academy Africa (SWAA) and was accepted. In 2014 she travelled to Sangli and Mysore in India to strengthen her capacity on facilitating the Sex Workers Academy Africa (SWAA).
Pauline has causes like community empowerment, advocacy and addressing violence among sex workers very close to her heart. This has seen her travel to Zambia, South Africa, and India where she shared best practices she has encountered and also learning from them.
In early 2018, she was chosen in the very competitive ARASA 2018 Trainer of Trainers (T.O.T) where she will join other African human rights defenders in South Africa for training in 4 different modules.
Tabitha Muthoni Chege
Tabitha Muthoni Chege is a strong, open-minded woman of character and she’s best praised for her sharp eye for detail and good organizational skills. I am currently a KESWA field officer serving Kiambu, Nairobi and nearby counties.
Tabitha first got into the sex work rights movement in 2008 as a peer educator in Bar Hostess empowerment and support program (BHESP).She graduated into a paralegal and later an outreach worker in BHESP before joining KESWA in early 2017.
While Tabitha held these roles, Tabitha reached out, taught and mobilized her fellow sex workers to access sexual reproductive health services, empowered them on their rights and assisted in navigating the justice system in occasion of violence.
In her 10 years in the movement, has consistently spoken out againaist violence on sex workers and is an active advocate of decriminalization of sex work.
Bonnie as I prefer to be called was born Bonface, currently he is working for keswa as administrative officer and finance assistant. After searching himself and realizing whom he is, he tried and successfully found other people like him who are marginalized and limited by Law, culture, religion and other similar factors but his passion was more than meeting them. So he opted on a way of working very hard to better of his community, he saw the problems and needs that we all had and decided to join community organizations that works towards the same goal.
He had studied to college level where he did a diploma in tour guide which he still loves but was incomplete without having to do a thing for his community.
He started by being trained and giving the information on human rights and the law as per our constitution, where he interacted with the larger community, leant the ropes and being a trusted person before his passion and enthusiasm being noticed and given this position.
He fulfilled when he see justice prevailed towards his community and general wellbeing of each one of us enjoying human rights and access to all that our beautiful county has to offer.
Amina Omar Swaleh.
Back ground: Amina Omar Swaleh born on 23rd of November 1974 is a human right Activist who has been on the forefront to Advocate for female sex workers’ rights and the key populations Rights. She was born in Kisumu, Kenya attended Manyatta School in Kisumu county. She has worked in the NGO field since 2007, NGOs such as impact RDO, family health option Kenya, Women concern and keeping Alive Societies. Currently she works at the Kenya sex workers Alliance (KESWA)as a field officer western Region under Advocacy for key population. In 2016 she was nominated by the community advisory committee to represent the women at the Kisumu CDC KEMRI as the link person. Amina is social and hard working she has passion working with female sex workers and the key populations at Large.