Staff and Board

Left:   Michael, Rose, Syprose, Caroline, Roseline

Left: Michael, Rose, Syprose, Caroline, Roseline


Our Staff 
Roseline Orwa, Founder & Director,  Widow
Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 7.24.07 PMRoseline Orwa is a widow. And a widow activist. She is cervical cancer survivor. And a childless mother of 26 orphaned children, and supports over 166 orphans and about 5000 rural widows at the Rona Orphans and widows centre in Wagoma village, western Kenya. She is a gender expat and a social entrepreneur, who sometimes works as TV Talk show host. As a social entrepreneur, Roseline founded her own company – Onset Designers, as a college student that she runs with others to date. Early experience of childlessness, domestic violence and abuse, led to her brutal divorce and woke her up to the reality of a society where the value of a woman is measured by the number of children a woman births. Divorce got her apartment, and tailoring business set on fire and burnt to ashes; she also lost her job with the government and a scholarship at a local University as a result of the divorce and the set up that came with it. Roseline has endured and survived. Her mother had to return dowry, in the face of laughter, and mocking from the community and fellow women, because Roseline was culturally seen as barren and worthless, just like many other women in her situation.

Years later a short lived remarriage ended abruptly with the death of her 2nd husband in 2008 during the post election violence in Kenya. Widowhood and grief set in, and the cultural practices that followed sent her searching for answers; and none existed. A misfit, black sheep, bearing ‘bad omen’, as women like her are commonly known, the stigma and ostrascization broke her open. She closed her business to self fund Rona Foundation and rose against the odds to break the Culture of Silence associated with widowhood and today advocates for the dire plight of widows in Kenya. Roseline founded a model loss and grief centre at the perishing lakeshore village of her birth in Western Kenya, where she works with rural widows and campaigns against widow cleansing, a practice she has further led the widows to get outlawed, but still goes on.
She is a Fellow of Amani Institute for Social Innovation Management Program. She has trained with National Democratic Institute for Leadership and Political Negotiations in Advocacy. She has been a Front runner nominee for NGO Diaspora Awards 2015 in Texas USA. This award recognizes outstanding leaders globally. She was a Front Runner Nominee for Giraffe Heroes Kenya Awards 2015. And was a semi finalist for Global Pluralism Award in Canada 2017. Roseline is a Non-residential Atlantic Fellow at the London School of Economics and Social Equity 2018. And has been nominated for the Yvonne Herbert Program under the UN Women in 2018.


She has mentored over 80 widow leaders who continue to replicate her work in 12 counties in Kenya through County Chapters.
Roseline is a tireless widow activist, who serves as an appointed Commissioned Expert with Ministry of Labour and Social Services in Kenya to develop ‘the national family promotion and protection policy’. Roseline holds a Diploma in Printing and Graphic design from the Technical University of Kenya, and a non-graduate in Public Relations and Communication degree from Daystar University. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management and Innovation. She is a born again-devoted woman of God. She serves as CEO and Founder of Rona Foundation.

Syprose Okumu, Widows Group Leader

IMG_6805Syprose leads the team at the Wagoma Centre with a deep passion for change in her community and great human skills to not only manage all the various administrative tasks but have the sensitivities needed to respond to human suffering.  She is a caring widow herself, mother to the children and does what ever needs to be done to run the centre.  She is a talented composer and singer – many times you will find her teaching the children new songs and spreading her joy.   She is keen on farming and has introduced new crops to the farm and takes pride in her skills to yield the best vegetables in the community.  She understands how to mobilize the widows into action and inspires others with her spirit of endurance.
 
Michael Oidho,  Administrative Assistant
DSCN2448Michael has proven to be a great asset for Rona through the years as Roseline’s “go to” person and head of tailoring at a company owned by Roseline the last 10 years.    He’s 33 years of age, has a strong work ethic, honesty and sense of team commitment that exceeds his years.   Mike has cut his niche in the hearts of everyone he serves and continues to serve at Rona.   He became the Administrative Assistant and does so much more with taking all “any tasks that needs to be done” without complaining or even a salary.   Mike’s easy way and worldview is an asset valued at Rona.
 
Janet Anyango, Project Coordinator
Image10Janet lost her father when she was barely a child. She learnt hard work and endurance from her mother. Born and raised in both urban and rural set ups, Janet understood that only education and hard work would be her pillar of success in life. She joined, Buru Buru School of Art, Kenya and graduated with a Diploma in Graphic design. She was employed in leading design houses in the country and later set her own company- Crsytal Outdoor & Advertising, a company she runs to date. In 2013, Janet lost her child, and her understanding of grief deepened. As she graduatesin 2014  from United States International University, in Women Empowerment Studies, she is a key staff in coordination, seeking donations and linking with Rona partners.
 
Our Board
Dr. Consilia Aoko Omuga, Widow
image003Dr. Concilia, a professional teacher, a women’s leader, a widow and a mother; holds a degree in education and a PhD. in Sociology- specializing in Social problems. Her work cuts across the Kenyan Society, having begun her career as a humble classroom teacher, staffing officer and rose to the ranks of director of Secondary and tertiary education – the highest position under the directorate. Later resigned to ran for a political office (Women Representative) in Siaya County in the March 2013 General Elections and came in a close 2nd.

 
Dan Okelo, Widows Patron, Deputy Chair
 
Advisory Board 
Felipe Brescancini
image003
Felipe Brescancini is a questioner who wants to make a difference. He is confident that his purpose is to open the eyes of the privileged ones so they become conscious, truly responsible and change-makers for equal opportunities to everyone. He quit the individual careless living mood and co-founded www.ThinkTwiceBrasil.org, a 400 days’ empathy journey through 40 countries to learn from people and realities how to transform society. Boring part: Ten years marketing career in P&G, Business graduate, Communication post-graduate, Social Business specialized. He is Brazilian and enjoys life.

 
 


Gabriele Garcia
image003Gabriele Garcia, a Brazilian dreamer and passionate for serving others. She is graduated in law at PUC/São Pau
lo, post graduated in Corporate Law and specialized in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Fundação Getúlio Vargas Business School and in social business at ARTEMISIA. Is the co-founder of Think Twice Brasil, a social movement developed to bring awareness about social and environmental challenges and to engage to people to become changemakers through exercising empathy.

 

 
Consulting Team 

Carolyn Moor, Mentor & Fundraising Developer through MWC
Modern Widows ClubFounder of Modern Widows Club (MWC) based in Florida, USA, which strives to support & mentor widows through the process of grief and transformation. One woman at a time, the tribe grew and is now a force of strength, inspiration and support to widows around the globe, including the widows served by Rona Foundation.   Carolyn provides mentorship, fundraising, and advocacy of widows and most passionately strives to secure a stronger personal bond between the widowed women in the USA and Kenya.  See more. 
 


Eileen Flannigan,  Impact Assessment & Business Consultant
Eileen Flannigan, New York, California, Kenya,  business consultant
Eileen brings 18 years experience in digital marketing for technology companies, strategic initiatives and partnerships, which included Silicon Valley startups and large companies such as AT&T.  She has a track record of bringing a wide variety of projects to life and products to market.  However, now she is using her skills for various global non-profits through social innovation and entrepreneurship.  She spent last year as a Kiva Fellow, working in rural India with a micro finance institute and Kenya on a person-to-person lending platform through Kiva Zip. She continues to consult with social enterprises & non-profits in Sub-Saharan Africa on a variety of projects include youth employment in the slums, agricultural markets, entrepreneurship,  business training and development.  She is consulting for Rona Foundation by leading an impact assessment which includes Monitoring & Evaluation and strategic analysis on programs and scaling up.In addition, she has executed on the re-branding, website building and training initiatives.
 
Johannes Bramann,  Fundraising and Business Consultant
Johannes BramannJohannes is a Ph.D. candidate in development economics at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and is researching the barriers and enablers faced by the Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Nairobi. He holds a fellowship of the German National Merit Foundation and looks back on several years of experience in the area of management consulting, among others working for Capgemini Consulting and Deutsche Telecom AG. As project leader and consultant for the Dutch Social enterprise consultant SECEUR, Johannes further worked for clients such as UNICEF and HOPE INDIA.
For Rona,  Johannes is currently involved in process optimization, formalization of structures and documentation as well as in several fundraising efforts.
 

Our Partners
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