Kansiime Shalom | Uganda
Shalom was born in Uganda but fled to Kenya because of the ‘Kill the Gays’’ bill that was passed by the Ugandan government. While in Kenya, their experience led them to start a nonprofit organization to advocate for change. They are the cofounder and Executive Director of Women for Women Africa, an organization that advocates for equality for all Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Non-Binary, Plus (LBTQ/NB+) individuals. Women for Women Africa supports their community through access to legal representation, to healthcare services through referrals, advocacy and livelihood projects to both refugees and Kenyan LBTQ/NB+, regardless of nationality, socio-economic status, abilities and race.
Shalom worked with organizations like Church World Service (CWS) and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to advocate for sexual reproductive health rights for LGBTIQ+ refugees. As an activist and a peer educator for key population health services, Shalom continues to advocate for the inclusion of female born and female identifying individuals, and has pioneered different programs to see to it that Lesbian, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (LTGNC) refugees and nationals are included in positions of leadership within the community and that they engage in broader economic development.
They are currently working to create a safe space/shelter to help reduce the number of homeless LBTQ/NB youth in Kenya, both refugees and nationals who have been displaced, because of their sexual orientation and identity.