PEMA Kenya is an organisation that seeks to advance the human rights of gender and sexual minorities, specifically in Mombasa, Eastern Kenya. It was formed in 2008, after tragedy when a young gay-identifying man, shunned and stigmatised by his family because of his sexual orientation, died. There was no one to honour his memory or give him a decent burial. Stunned by such a level of loathing for gay people, a group of gay men in Mombasa came together to find a decent and dignified resting place for him. It was this support of one of their own that gave birth to a community-based group, which evolved into Persons Marginalized and Aggrieved in Kenya (PEMA Kenya).
A society that embraces justice and diversity
To promote co-existence in society and the inclusivity of GSM through advocacy and capacity building.
Work with religious leaders
Here in Mombasa and in Eastern Kenya, religious leaders are among the main sources of public opinion on gender and sexual minorities. Religious leaders tend to reinforce the view that gender and sexual minorities are unacceptable in Kenyan society due to cultural and religious reasons. However, they can also be gate-keepers for change. Against that background, we have developed a work programme where we engage religious leaders, from Muslim and Christian backgrounds. We facilitate their learning about gender and sexual diversity in a way that is sensitive to religious concerns and understandings.