Inspired by nature, Damaris Opilu is a professional photographer and video editor who has worked and volunteered with different organizations as communication officer.
She has experience of working as a community organizer in the Nairobi Slums.
Neema Afwande is a Business administration and Management specialist who has developed passion in social education. She has worked for several organizations specifically on education assignments with young children and great interaction with women.
Her education inspiration arose after meeting young girls in the rural area being raped for three years by the farther and the mother had been silenced by the husband and the only defense or rescue she could afford was walk out of the home, marriage and family into another marriage.
The lady believed getting into another marriage would save her 6 year old daughter from being assaulted. Unfortunately the new husband only loved her for what she was and not for the baggage she had. The new found husband did not want anything to do with the woman’s children. In desperation the woman decided to settle down for this man forgetting about the suffering of her daughter. This was not a solution and so the little six years old continued being raped till she was 9. Teachers in her school new about it but didn’t do anything due to fear of what the family reaction would be given that even the uncles to the kids who knew about it didn’t see an issue about it.
Erick Matsanza is a social change catalyst who employs disruptive means in challenging the status quo at the backyards. As a brand builder and community catalyst, he is the founder of Spice Without Borders, a movement of social change accelerators who use their inner spice to transform society. Before initiating Spice Without Borders, he co-founded Life Bridge an organization that bridges the technological divide and was a founding director at Intelsoft Limited, an Information and Communication Technology firm. He serves as the National Secretary for information and Publicity at Labour Party of Kenya, a political movement that espouses the principles of social democracy. He has also volunteered in a number of organizations across the world including Video Volunteers at their head office in Goa – India, Pawa 254 in Nairobi – Kenya, Hotel Kenrock, Kampala – Uganda.
Inspired by the struggles of the women in his childhood to impact his life when he was about to miss his secondary education. His mother and sister who despite their meagre resources, stepped in when no man in the family was willing to take up the responsibility. This has stired him to see more women empowered with the necessary skills that will foster creative and critical thinking so that they are able to transform society.
In 2014 Erick was awarded a Leadership Scholarship by kanthari, an institute for social visionaries located in Kerala State, South India, where he is a certified social initiator and began his social entrepreneurial journey founding Spice Without Borders. His expertise in social perspectives is, project planning and management, concept transformation, issue based awareness campaigns, branding and marketing, event planning and management, social media advocacy and has skills in fundraising.
As part of the Kenya Ni Kwetu movement, one that brought into the limelight leadership issues and in his quest for a world free from discrimination, negative attitudes and harmful norms he jumped from one issue to another on a national scale fighting for the rights of the people in Kenya using creative ways that unearth human rights abuses. While at kanthari he made a u-turn to zoom right in his backyard and bring out the hidden and unpronounced issues. With his sister, a single mother of 6 children not having a voice in the family and living in uncertainty for being deprived of her right to land and property ownership by his brothers due to traditional believes, he purposed that Spice Without Borders is to empower social change catalysts who stand up against social ills at the backyard of society.
As a social activist and a public speaker, his spicy talks have provoked many mindsets, changing their perceptions on harmful traditional ways of doing things so he created SpiceTalks, a platform for exceptionally spicy ideas from the backyard of society, and a catalytic accelerator for intense social change. The platform is devoted to transforming the society by the creative and critical voice of the people.
A 2010 kanthari Fellow and a 2015 Yali Fellow, Jayne Wairimu Waithera is a woman having been born with Albinism to a mother who abandoned her at birth out of fear and stigma, She is inspired by the works of Rick Guidotti. Jayne is on the frontline addressing the significant needs, both medical and psychological, of the local Albinism community — a community on high alert with news of recent bloodshed against individuals with Albinism in Africa.