Alisa Roadcup, Executive Director
Alisa believes when you empower a girl; you empower an entire community and generations beyond. She is a human rights activist, organizer, and advocate passionate about creating a safer, more just world for refugee girls and young women. Alisa joined Heshima Kenya in 2012 as Director of Advocacy and Development, and has also served in the role of Director of Strategic Partnerships from 2013-14. Before joining Heshima Kenya, Alisa was Director of Communications and development at The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, IL. Her previous roles include Director of Education at Fresh Start Women's Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona and program associate for Amnesty International USA's Urgent Action Network, serving as coordinator for Amnesty's Stop Violence Against Women Campaign in 3 states. Since 2010, Alisa has advised on campaign strategy and membership mobilization in support of the promotion and protection of women's human rights as a member of Amnesty International USA’s Women Human Rights Coordination Group. From 2011 to 2014 Alisa served in numerous capacities including Vice President of the Board of Directors at Rape Victim Advocates and is currently a member of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Young Professionals.
Alisa holds professional certification in Forced Migration Studies from Northwestern University’s Center for Forced Migration Studies, an MA in Comparative Religions and a BA in Humanities. She frequently speaks at conferences and universities about local, national and international women's rights issues.
Benedict M. Nganga, Acting Country Director
Benedict holds a Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management from The University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Nairobi and an Advanced Certificate of Education. He has worked in the NGO sector for over 21 years, rising from Social Worker to Project Manager. Benedict joined Heshima Kenya in January 2015 and has previously worked with renowned local and international NGOs in his home country Kenya. He has successfully led organizations that he previously worked with to greater heights in strengthening program systems.
STAFF LEADERSHIP - KENYA
Heshima Kenya's team in Nairobi is led by 53 professionals diverse backgrounds and passionate about meeting the needs of vulnerable girls and young women
Case Management Team:
Meselech Tezera, Lead Caseworker
Mezelech joined Heshima Kenya in January 2008. Having worked with refugees for over ten years, she understands the need of assisting the unaccompanied and separated refugee children and youth. Before joining Heshima Kenya she had worked with the Refugee Support Center. She believes in honesty and respect. Mezelech holds a Diploma in Counseling Psychology.
Child Protection Team:
Ruby Gowi, Child Protection Coordinator
Ruby has the ability to organize her thoughts logically, clearly and concisely both orally and written. She has the ability to boldly meet new challenges and solve problems effectively. She has experience in conducting trainings, facilitations and capacity building. Throughout her working life, Ruby has specialized in Child Protection and BIA and BID. Before joining Heshima Kenya she worked as the BID Coordinator with HIAS. Ruby holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology and Sociology and a Masters Degree in Child Development. She is currently the BID Coordinator in the Child Protection Program.
Duncan Oginda Ogendi, Child Protection Coordinator
Duncan is a highly self-motivated and ambitious person who focuses special attention to children and youth. He possesses great interpersonal skills and communication skills, is very dynamic and is always prepared to face challenges. He is very knowledgeable and skilled in Guidance and Counseling, HIV Treatment and Care, Project Planning and Management, Team Building and Life Skills Training.
Duncan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counseling and a Post-graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management and he is a member of Kenya Counselors & Psychology Association (KCPA). He is currently a Psychosocial Counselor in the Child Protection Program.
Loise N. Giteru, Psychosocial Counsellor
Having worked with the Community Aid International as a Project Officer, Loise understands the need of the girl child. She holds a diploma in Psychology counselling, a Community Development Diploma and is finalizing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Peace, Conflict and Resolution. Loise is a highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic lady who is totally committed to achieving the collective objectives of an organization. Her job experience ranges from project management, economic empowerment, capacity building, to administration counselling. She is currently a Psychosocial Counsellor in the Child Protection Program.
Morine Sang Chepkemboi, Social Worker
Morine believes in working in a competitive, challenging and dynamic organization. She is bringing a plethora of experience to Heshima Kenya after having gained exposure from several organizations. She enjoys identifying vulnerable children in the society, conducting assessments and referring them for services on a case-to-case basis. Throughout her work experience she has worked with humanitarian organizations dealing with children. Morine holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work. She is currently a Social Worker in the Child Protection Program.
Susan Njoki Wambi, Social Worker
Susan worked at Mully Children’s Family Home, which is a non-profit organization rescuing and offering holistic rehabilitative care to orphans and vulnerable Children in Kenya before joining Heshima Kenya. She has developed individual therapy and psychosocial and mental status assessments, as well as general counseling of all children in need of trauma counseling for Gender Based Violence.
Susan holds a Diploma in Community Health & Epidemiology and a Certificate in Nursing. She has also completed trainings and gained skills in the field of Social Work. She is objective and ready to learn. She is currently a Social Worker in the Child Protection Program.
Maureen A. Lugalia, Social Worker
Maureen is a seasoned Social Worker and Counselor with a high level of professionalism and an effective approach to understanding community issues and situations. She has worked with different organizations as a Social Worker. Maureen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and Social Work Administration. She is currently a Social Worker in the Child Protection Program.
Safe House Program Team:
Caroline Sakwa, Safe House Program Manager
Caroline Sakwa is the Program Manager for the Heshima Kenya Safe House. Caroline is a trained youth counselor for reproductive health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, as well as an educator for financial literacy education and a volunteer facilitator with the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). Caroline has eight years’ experience working in key leadership positions in a number of NGOs including Carolina for Kibera- Binti Pamoja Center, the Nairobi Youth Counseling Centre, and National Youth HIV/AIDS Theatre Outreach Program (NYATOP). She has also served on the advisory board for the Nairobi Youth Center and the Kenya Voluntary Development Association (KVDA). Caroline has a BA in Social Sciences and Human Praxis from the Catholic University for East Africa and is in the process of completing her MBA at the University of Nairobi.
Agnes Kipruto, Lead Caseworker
Agnes joined Heshima Kenya in October 2009. She brought a wealth of experience from different Organizations that she worked with before. She is currently the Safe House Lead Caseworker.
Ruth Guto, Medical Caseworker
Ruth joined Heshima Kenya on August 2012 having worked with different organizations in different capacities, rising from Nurse Volunteer in KEMRI/CDC to a Nursing Officer in Carolina for Kibere.
Ruth holds a Diploma in Nursing Sciences from Kampala International University. She is currently the Safe House Medical Caseworker.
Andrine Muia, Safe House Caseworker
Ms Andrine Muia is a case worker at Heshima Kenya. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Nairobi alongside a certificate in guidance, counseling and social management services which gave her membership to the National Youth Guidance & Counseling Association (NYGCA). Before joining Heshima Kenya, Ms Andrine worked as a children's right advocate at Young Professionals for Development and Tumaini Childrens' home. It was during her stay in these organizations when she realized her passion to attend to children. Restoring that lovely smile and hope to the hopeless vulnerable young ones is what drives her. In addition to managing cases,Ms Andrine does motivational talks in conjunction with other professionals from her region to students in the village.
Ms Andrine is dedicated to ensure that all girls passing through the hands of Heshima Kenya will live to tell the good story about the organization and also to ensure that Heshima achieves its objectives.
Damaris Karimi, Safe House Cook
Damaris Karimi received her Certificate/Diploma in Catering from Kenya Polytechnic College University; in 2007 she joined the Carnivore restaurant chain at Tamambo in Karen for her practical experience. Damaris has also worked with other organizations like Kitchen Essentials that worked with schools, Orange Park, and Safaricom.
While working with schools, Damaris developed a desire to work with children. She is passionate about serving children who need motherly support and help. Damaris is glad to be in place where she can fulfill and pursue her dreams as a cook. She is thankful for the opportunity given to her by Heshima Kenya to be part of the greater family. She is determined to work hand in hand with Heshima Kenya to give the best to the lovely children.
Girls’ Empowerment Project Team:
Osop Abdi, GEP Project Manager
Osop oversees all aspects of the Girls’ Empowerment Program, managing and reporting on the education, life-skills, vocational, and income-generating projects. She joined Heshima Kenya on 1 January 2008.
Beatrice W. Kiragu, Lead Teacher
Beatrice joined Heshima Kenya on 2nd May 2012. She is a trained teacher in Adult Education. She holds a diploma in Community Development and Social Work. Before joining Heshima Kenya, she worked in a private formal school in Nairobi for one year. She also worked with adolescent girls in Kibera slums (Nairobi) as a Social Worker. Upon joining Heshima Kenya, the Girls' Empowerment Project was an informal basic education and she has seen it grow from an informal to formal by liaising with the ministry of education.
Paul Ngunjiri, Teacher
Paul is a trained Adult Education teacher, and holds an EAT teaching certificate as well as a diploma in Adult and Community Education. He has over 25 years of working experience in teaching and training adults. He has worked with the Department of Adult Education as a teacher and a supervisor of adult literacy programs in Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Paul is a writer and has written basic reading books for adult students and a member of the Kenya Adult Educator journal Editorial Board. Paul has worked with local NGO’s on education and community development as positions of Program officer. He joined Heshima Kenya in 2013 and as a team has overseen the implementation of the alternative Basic Adult Education syllabus.
Jonathan Mutuvi, Teacher
Jonathan is a trained teacher qualified to teach anywhere in Kenya. He holds a certificate in primary Teacher Education, in addition to other qualifications. He also poses a certificate in Leadership and governance among others. He has been teaching since 2012 up to date. Before joining Heshima Kenya, he was teaching in the formal education sector.
Advocacy and Outreach Team:
Manal Ali Said, Community Outreach Coordinator
Manal Said has worked with community outreach in Nairobi with Mubarak for Relief and Development Organization and GIZ where her work focused on facilitating psychosocial support to vulnerable populations including refugees. With GIZ, Manal facilitated refugee support groups, conducted adult literacy courses, and conducted data collection. Manal holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Nairobi.
Mohammed Tahlil, Community Outreach Assistant
Mohammed joined Heshima Kenya as a consultant in September 2012. Over this period of working with HK, he has specialized and gained experience and exposure in mobilization and sensitization of the community. He is currently the Assistant Outreach Officer.
Lilian N. Maira, Marketing and Production Manager
Lilian oversees all aspects of Maisha production and marketing, managing and reporting on the collections, designs, sketch rough and detailed drawing. Lilian brings a great deal of design and textile production experience to the Organization, having served as a Fashion Director and Production Manager at different Organizations. Lilian is also extensively trained in leadership and dressmaking. She holds a Diploma in Fashion Design & Garment Making and a Certificate in Clothing and Textile.
Hamdi Abdi, Maisha Coordinator
Hamdi joined Heshima Kenya in January 2009. She holds a Certificate in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a certificate in Fashion Design. Before joining Heshima Kenya, Hamdi worked with RSC as an interpreter and at UNHCR as a Social Worker. Over the years she has developed a strong passion for the Maisha Collective where she is overseeing all the production activities.
Finance and Admin Team:
Fidelis Muia, Director of Financial Operations
Fidelis Muia holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA-Finance) from Maseno University, Kenya and a Bcom (Accounting) from the University of the Free State, South Africa. She is also a qualified accountant (CPA-K) and has worked with the NGO sector for over 20 years. Fidelis joined Heshima Kenya in October 2013 and has previously worked with renowned local and international NGOs in her home country of Kenya. Fidelis is in charge of Finance & Administration department of Heshima Kenya. She has successfully led organizations she has previously worked with to greater heights in strengthening financial systems and accountability that earned them growth and donor confidence.
Richard K. Ndambuki, Human Resources and Administration Officer
Richard holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Higher National Diploma in Human Resource Management. Richard has a wealth of experience in Human Resource Management after working in different organizations, both NGOs, Government Institutions and in the private sector. He is the Human Resource & Administration Officer. He has successfully led HR functions/ department in his previous Organizations to greater heights in developing and strengthening system.
Simon Njoroge Mwaniki, Finance Assistant for Child Protection Program
Simon is a young, energetic, and work oriented person who believes that making a savings for any project money can make an Organization grow and survive, and that professional principal, accountability and transparency are the only keys to both individual and Organizational success. Having worked as a Project Accountant, he is experienced in all money matters. Simon holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration majoring in Economics and Sociology and he is a CPA (K) finalist. He is currently the Finance Assistant in the Child Protection Program.
Azra Husejnovic, Grants Manager
Azra is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and being a former refugee herself knows first-hand many of the challenges refugees face. Azra has personally experienced some of the hardships as well as witnessed most of her family struggle through the challenges of finding shelter, a means to support the family, and ultimately continuing education. Azra credits her mother as well as organizations like Heshima Kenya who have helped pave the way for women to feel empowered and take back their lives in their new communities.
Azra received her BA in Economics from Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY and her MA from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Azra’s previous roles include managing the City of Cincinnati’s budget as a Senior Management Analyst. Azra speaks Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, and German fluently.
Megan Singh Sidhu, Manager of Philanthropic Initiatives
Emily Snider, Sales and Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
Emily started as an intern for Heshima Kenya in 2015 and fell in love with their mission to create a community of empowerment and understanding. She has a BA in International Studies and specialization in communication and development. She found her passion for refugees during her time at Heartland Alliance Refugee & Immigrant Care Services and Sarah’s Circle women's shelter, and hopes to continue working for refugee rights and education for the rest of her time on this planet. Emily speaks French fluently, has traveled to over 14 different countries, and believes in the power of a well-coordinated statement scarf.
Marion Ostrega, Director of Finance and Operations
Marion comes to Heshima Kenya with extensive experience in financial administration including budget development, analysis, and reporting. His additional skills in business operations and management will prove extremely benificial as we expand the scope of our mission.
Marion brings a perspective to financial adminstration that encompasses the human equation: As the first generation of immigrants of his family to this country and a naturalized citizen, Marion has a direct perspective on the plight of those Heshima Kenya serves, and of his role in our mission.
He holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, MS from Roosevelt University, and a baccalaureate from Loyola University. His plans include CPA certification in the near future.
Ariana Shockley, Executive Assistant
Ariana Shockley is a Junior at DePaul University, pursuing a BA in both International Studies and Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to use her dual degree to close the gap between the international realm of politics and the world of peacebuilding in order to help those traumatized by genocide and civil wars in lesser-developed countries. Not only is she participating in both international realms (political, grassroots) through her majors, but she has extensive internship experience both in Chicago and New York City. Her most recent internship was as a case investigator for New York State’s Division of Human Rights.
Her passion for travel and pursuing global peace began at an early, premature age when she traveled abroad as an Ambassador for People to People Student Ambassadors. At the age of 20, she began her work at Heshima Kenya as the Maisha Collective Fall 2014 intern and under the guidance of Flora Lujana had the opportunity to assume the role of Maisha Collective Outreach Manager for the winter season. She has returned to Heshima Kenya as an Executive Assistant to Alisa. She maintains an unyielding passion and commitment to the promotion of human rights and especially to the wonderful organization that Heshima Kenya is!