Mary Ann Burris
Mary Ann Burris is the founder of TICAH. She had a dream of building a body of practical healing work and a team of people doing it who link culture to health, recognizing the wisdom of traditional medicine and cultural ways while creating conditions where all can enjoy equitable relationships, healthy life choices, responsive services, knowledge about our rights and our bodies, emotional and spiritual well-being, ways to create and express ourselves, and the power to decide.
Mary Ann was born in Texas. Her grandparents are from four different bloodlines. Mary Ann has a Ph.D. From Stanford University in Development Studies, an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Oregon and a BA from the University of North Carolina. She has lived in Kenya for 20 years and she lived, studied, and worked in China for 10 years. Before starting TICAH, Mary Ann was a program officer at the Ford Foundation in Beijing and in Nairobi.
Mary Ann has pioneered the use of art, photography, and ceremony in healing, activism, and building community. She believes in the power of beauty and in the wisdom of remembering grandma’s remedies. She is convinced that the way we go largely determines where we get.
Jedidah Maina—holds a Masters of Arts in Project Planning and Management and a Bachelors of Arts degree (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Nairobi. She has over eight years of experience as an activist, researcher, program manager, and organizer concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights. Jedidah joined Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) in 2007 as the Sexuality Program Officer. She manages the “Our bodies, Our Choices”, a program that provides safe spaces to learn about our bodies, discuss our sexual experiences, become better communicators, design educational materials, heal from abuse and advocate for changes in attitudes policies, programs and power relationships. Her work includes developing the program, educational materials and training in communities on reproductive health choices. Before Joining TICAH Jedidah worked for Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) where she championed for the enactment and the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.
Finance and HR Manager
Prisca joined TICAH in March 2017. She is a CPA (K) and holds a degree in Bachelor of Commerce accounting option and works as the Finance and HR Manager. Previously she worked as an accountant in the flower industry with Kariki Group of companies where she acquired vast experience in the corporate world. She is excited to learn and enjoys being part of all the TICAH programmes. Apart from numbers Prisca also enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.
Suzanne Mieko Thomson
International Outreach and Art Director
Suzanne joined TICAH in 2015 to support the program teams with monitoring and evaluation, fundraising and communications. Previously, she consulted with Carolina for Kibera and Global Education Fund Kenya supporting organisational development efforts working on a number of projects that included strategic planning, communications, fundraising, bookkeeping, cross cultural communications, and foreign donor/volunteer support.
Suzanne has a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time she enjoys taking pictures for friends, collecting fabric, designing things and watching movies. Suzanne is passionate about Kenya, supporting others to build and express their creativity, and cross cultural understanding.
Mary Akoth Elias
Program Manager – Healthy Seeds
Mary joined TICAH in December 2008 and she is the community outreach program officer. She brings with her vast experience in community work and movement building. Before joining TICAH, Mary worked at HOPE WORLD WIDE KENYA as site program co-odinator in the orphans and vulnerable children program (OVC) where she helped conduct trainings on psycho-social support for children and their caregivers and mentorship of support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS. She is a known HIV+ activist throughout Kenya who has known of her status for 21 years. She has been a strong advocate for natural treatment, using good nutrition and herbal medicine to treat and manage the opportunistic infection for PLWHA. Mary likes to work with the communities and always gives her best while doing it. One of her goals in life is to empower people living with HIV/AIDS, both young and old, and give hope to the hurting world.
Program Manager – Traditional Knowledge and Culture
Denis joined TICAH in February 2013 as an intern, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Urbaniana, diploma in African Studies and counselling from Tangaza College and currently pursuing Masters in African Studies majoring in Cultural Anthropology. He brings with him vast experience in community work. Before joining TICAH, Ngala worked in different institutions as a teacher, social worker and counselor in Tanzania, Kenya and Italy. He is passionate in conserving traditional knowledge.
Jeremiah joined TICAH in February 2008. Before joining TICAH Jeremiah worked with AMREF Kenya as Records management Assistant where he gained great experience in records management both electronic and paper documentation. Jeremiah at TICAH is the Office Administrator with great vision of ensuring smooth running of TICAH’s policies and procedures. Jeremiah holds a Diploma certificate in Community Based Health Care from Rural AID Kenya Training institute, Nairobi and an Advanced Diploma certificate in Library and Information Science from the University of Busoga, Uganda.
Elizabeth Amondi Okumu
Program Manager – SRHR
Elizabeth Amondi Okumu- Joined TICAH as an intern in 2010.Holds a diploma in Journalism and Media Studies and is currently a student in the evenings pursuing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies with Majors in Public relations. She works as the assistant program officer of the sexuality program, which creates safe spaces for different groups to talk about their sexual reproductive health and rights in order to make safe and healthy choices. She is a self assured young lady, incredibly willing to learn and to contribute.
Gloria Anniva Wabwire
Program Coordinator – Healthy Seeds
Gloria Anniva Wabwire born in Nairobi Kenya,works as an Assistant Program Officer under the Positive Living ,Children Art and Mural Painting Programs. Gloria joined TICAH in January 16 2012, her responsibilities include report writing, photo taking at events and meetings, record keeping and assisting in community trainings.
She graduated in 2010 from Makerere University in Uganda with a degree in Development Studies. During her free time she enjoys playing basketball, socialising and listening to music.
Kirrinkol Joseph Odupoi
Program Coordinator – Traditional Knowledge and Culture
Joseph Joined TICAH in 2015 as a volunteer to work as a translator of the Maasai language. He later worked on compiling the elder’s list and assisting in other programs. After showing interest in the learning circle, he is currently part of the team who work on the medicine wheel program.
Joseph was a volunteer in community development programs in Ngong, he assisted in conservation and management of Ngong forest with Kenya Forest Service. Worked as an intern in Kenya Education Fund (KEF) to support needy students in fees sponsorship. Worked with Malta Forreste Company in partnership with KENGEN as a health and safety officer. Joseph has a diploma in development studies and social work from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
Program Coordinator – Traditional Knowledge and Culture
George started work at TICAH in 2007, as a garden pioneer and managing daily activities at the botanical garden, Sculpture garden and peace path at the National Museum of Kenya. He worked at Brackenhurst in the department of forestry prior to joining TICAH. He has also worked with the Kenya Seed Company.
Over the years, he has grown to be the garden host at the museum and also a facilitator in the “healthy household program” that is held in various urban settlements in Nairobi. He is currently a facilitator in medicine wheel program particularly in the Learning circle.
George acquired intricate knowledge on plants and the environment from attending various seminars about plants and medicinal knowledge. He has also acquired this Knowledge at Londiani Forestry College where he studied environmental preservation and landscaping. In addition to this, he attended Kitale technical school where he studied sales.
His passion at TICAH is to work closely with elders. He enjoys learning about plants, stones and songs as healing remedies from them, taking into account that he inherited some of his knowledge from his grandfather.