Phidelia is a Nigerian writer and communications strategist with a passion for using storytelling and the media to influence behaviors and outcomes, and achieve advocacy goals. She joined ISDAO in May 2021. Prior to joining ISDAO, she worked at The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) in Nigeria for over two years, first as the Content and Communications manager and then as the Director of Advocacy, creating campaigns and strategic materials to influence public perceptions, behaviors, policies, and laws related to sexual and gender minorities in Nigeria.
With over 5 years of experience in communications, she has written and edited several resources on sexual and gender diversity and rights; has hosted, produced and written media content including podcasts, documentaries and talk shows, and has run multiple advocacy campaigns. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy.
Phidelia is a feminist dedicated to raising awareness about sexual and gender diversity. She has facilitated workshops and symposia on this topic for groups and organisations. Her work is driven by the desire to live in a world where everyone lives with equal dignity and enjoys equal rights, access and opportunities, regardless of their status, orientation or identity.
She enjoys travelling and spending time with her chosen family.
Phidelia is inspired by bell hooks' commitment to loving radically.
Aïssétou is a busy and very sociable mother, born in Ghana to Burkinabe parents, she spent her childhood between Ghana and Burkina.
She has more than 15 years of fieldwork in sociological research, business marketing, development as well as translation and interpreting.
With 4 years of experience in the Sexual and Reproductive Health sector, she joined ISDAO in April 2021. Prior to this, Aïssétou was a project manager at MSI Reproductive choices - Burkina Faso where she managed several portfolios for different donors. As part of this role Aïssétou also advocated for the rights of young girls/women to access RH services without bias, including advocacy for access to safe abortion. She has a degree in sociology from the Joseph Ki Zerbo University in Ouagadougou.
Aïssétou is a feminist and minority rights advocate, she started working with the LGBTQI+ movements in 2014 doing translations for QAYN among others.
Aïssétou loves going out with friends, travelling and culinary adventures.
My grandmother, a brave uneducated woman who defied society in 1930 by refusing to submit to a violent husband, remains my reference.
Stéphane is a queer feminist from Burkina Faso with a passion for communication, literature and political conversations and innovative social research on gender and queer movement development in Africa.
Joining ISDAO in September 2019 as Director of Communications and Knowledge Management, Stéphane comes with about 10 years of experience in engaging with the West African LGBTQI movement and in Cameroon. He worked at the Queer African Youth Network, the first West African regional network led by queer women for 8 years in various positions including leading several feminist community research and documentation projects and communications. Meanwhile, under other initiatives, Stéphane has been actively involved in-country and regional research and documentation projects on the sexual and reproductive rights of the LGBTQI movement, gender workers and people who use drugs. Prior to becoming Director of Communications and Knowledge Management, Stéphane supported ISDAO's IGB (Interim Governance Body) for 15 months as an Associate Coordination Consultant.
Stéphane holds a Master's degree in Research in Communication for Development from the Université Libre du Burkina (ULB). He has also been a fellow in several international programs on human rights education, gender issues and advocacy focused on human rights mechanisms in Africa.
Stéphane is defined as a "disruptive feminist" because he asks questions and brings reflections and alternatives on social movements in Africa, decolonisation, masculinity, and power analysis in his work. Above all, he reflects on how best to equip LGBTQI communities to make their voices as audible as possible for themselves.
Outside of work, Stéphane enjoys reading, photography, inter-generational world music and observing the Silence. The writers Mariama Bâ and Fatou Diome are a source of inspiration for Stéphane.
Caroline is an African queer feminist of Ivorian and African-American descent, with over 17 years of diverse professional experience in philanthropy, human rights activism, social justice and education, including 8 years in feminist and human rights philanthropy at American Jewish World Service and the Global Fund for Women. Prior to joining ISDAO, she was a senior program officer at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), where she managed the sexual health and rights grantmaking portfolio in West and East Africa. While at AJWS, Caroline was involved with ISDAO in its early years, providing technical and strategic support. She aims to strengthen other innovative grantmaking initiatives, as a member of the Advisory Board for the VOICE program and the Advisory Committee for the ACTIF Fund. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Diplomacy & World Affairs from Occidental College (USA), a Master of Public Administration degree and a master’s in international relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University (USA).
Caroline identifies as a 'connector' and has been mobilising resources and helping to connect girls, women and LGBTQI people in all their diversity to opportunities and funding since she was an adolescent. She is one of the founding advisors of the Queer African Youth Network (QAYN), and a co-founder of Q-Zine, a pioneering queer African e-zine.
Caroline never tires of thinking and talking about sexuality and feminism, and when she is not working, Caroline enjoys reading, making cocktails, and anything and everything to do with coffee.
Raymond ADADJISSO is a health and human rights activist of Togolese and Beninese origin. He joined the ISDAO team in May 2021 as Policy and Advocacy Officer. Prior to ISDAO, Raymond was the Executive Director of the Cupid Network, a network of LGBTQI+ organizations in Togo. In this position, he implemented projects aimed at better inclusion of sexual minorities in SRHR services. Until 2020, he was a representative of key populations in the coordinating body of global fund projects in Togo and on the Abidjan-Lagos corridor. Raymond holds a master's degree in management science. He has served as chairman of the strategic monitoring committee of the regional coordinating body for global fund projects on the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.
Raymond has been an advocate for inclusion, sexual and reproductive health, and the full development and promotion of the basic human rights of sexual and gender minorities for nearly 15 years. A committed feminist, Raymond is also involved with vulnerable and marginalized groups such as rural youth and adolescents, prison populations, sex workers and drug users.
Raymond is passionate about architecture and cooking. He has a particular interest in reflecting on social dynamics. For his bravery, leadership and self-sacrifice for a greater cause, Abla Pokou is one of his most inspiring historical figures.
Olumide is a Nigerian Human Rights activist with a specific interest in LGBTIQ rights, conversations, and capacity development for emerging LGBTIQ, Sexual Health and Rights activists and organizations in West Africa. Olumide's work focuses on expanding public knowledge and discourse on LGBTIQ rights and issues through storytelling, public education, legal representation, inclusive policy advocacy, and movement building.
Olumide’s journey in LGBTIQ rights and advocacy started in 2005 as a founding member of The Initiative for Equal Rights—one of the leading LGBTIQ rights organizations in Nigeria with initiatives in Anglophone West Africa. While at TIERs, Olumide created a series of programs including the annual Human Rights, Sexuality and The Law Symposium, web and television series, movies, and documentaries as a way of sharing the lived experiences of LGBTIQ persons, interrogating social and legal discrimination, while expanding public knowledge and discourse. Olumide holds a degree in Business Administration and a postgraduate in Strategic Project Management from Ogun State Institute of Technology and Anglia Ruskin University.
Olumide’s work over the years has provided him with the opportunities to share his knowledge on the impact of laws and policies that are discriminatory towards LGBTIQ persons, their families, and society at large. With years of experience and knowledge in advocacy, fundraising, donor engagement, organization, and project management, Olumide is now journeying at Initiative Sankofa d’Afrique de l’Ouest (ISDAO) as the director of programs, leveraging his experience and contextualized knowledge to strengthen the financial and technical resources of LGBTIQ-led groups and organizations in West Africa.
Olumide enjoys cooking, hosting, and travelling with friends and now enjoying being a daddy. Olumide’s favourite historical figure is Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, her activism and public advocacy resonate deeply with him.
Igor has been involved as an LGBTQI activist since 2005 in Côte d'Ivoire and West Africa with sixteen (16) years of professional experience in finance management, and accounting. Igor joined the ISDAO team in July 2021. Prior to joining ISDAO, he worked at ENDA Santé for the Côte d'Ivoire office, where he was successively Accountant, Grant Manager and Administrative and Financial Officer between January 2019 and May 2021. Previously, Igor worked at Arc En Ciel Plus from 2005 to 2013 as a volunteer, then he held the positions of Treasurer, Accountant and Administrative and Financial Manager respectively. He was also the Administrative Manager of the NGO Secours Social LGBTQI identity organization based in Bouaké in central Côte d'Ivoire between 2016 and 2018, with a brief stint at the NGO Djantan d'Alépé.
Trained in Finance and Accounting, Igor is also a graduate in Audit and Management Control in Banking Insurance.
As an activist, he was active in the first gay male-led organization in Côte d'Ivoire, the NGO Arc En Ciel Plus Côte d'Ivoire, as well as a spokesperson and coordinator of La Coupole Akwaba, a federation of fifteen (15) LGBTQI organizations that advocates for the welfare of LGBTQI people in his country Côte d'Ivoire. He is also involved in supporting the capacity of LGBTQI-led organizations in Côte d'Ivoire and other West African countries.
Igor has a passion for reading of all kinds, music, and nature.
His favourite historical character is Queen Tassi Hangbé of the Danxomè kingdom (Benin).
Daniel is a young, queer Nigerian, a passionate Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocate, and a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) activist. He comes with over 6 years of professional experience in the social development sector. He joined the ISDAO team in December 2021. Prior to joining ISDAO, Daniel has worked with organizations in Nigeria including International Center for Advocacy on Right to Health (ICARH) and, most recently, Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development (YNCSD). He has supported the design and implementation of several projects that cater to the social and health needs of key populations across Nigeria including projects on social protection, improved access to SRHR services, and human rights activism, and he has also supported grantmaking processes for both local and international development funders in Nigeria. Daniel holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the National Open University of Nigeria.
Daniel engages with indigenous LGBTQI and feminist groups in Nigeria to advance social justice and social protection for sexual and gender minorities. He enjoys organizing/engaging with social activities that promote human rights and feminist principles, especially for key populations in Nigeria.
Daniel is passionate about knowledge gathering and sharing especially in the area of social development and social change. He aims to create an open society where everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and/or sexual characteristics, can have unrestricted access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and other social amenities with no benefits withheld. He enjoys movies and television shows, especially by Ryan Murphy.
Sibo is a community development advocate, from Burundi, with 10 years of professional experience in human rights advocacy and community organizing across East and Central Africa. Prior to joining ISDAO in October 2022, they were a campaign fellow at All Out, a global movement for love and equality. They were engaged for 8 years as the Communication Officer at MOLI, a human rights organization working in Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. Their engagement was focused on: (1) Technical support for the effective participation of key populations in the HIV/AIDS epidemic control, (2) Digital amplification of people's powered campaigning for equal rights and social justice, and (3) Capacity-building programs for underserved and marginalized communities such as women and young people. They hold a bachelor's degree in communication for community development.
Sibo identifies as a “transcender” that has, for a long time, voluntarily used the power of storytelling to organize and empower youth and women. They are a co-founder and early member of the African Queer Youth Initiative, a network of youth activists and organizations mobilizing, supporting, and amplifying the voice of LGBTIQ activists, building visibility and strategic networks in support of LGBTIQ youth in Africa.
Sibo enjoys travelling and is a passionate creative with a keen interest in visual arts, afropolitanism, fashion and social dynamics. They are inspired by the everyday life of unapologetically queer communities around the world.
Melody is a trans, feminist activist of Beninese and Ghanaian descent; she has 12 years of professional experience in activism, including human rights, social justice, international advocacy, and gender issues. Prior to joining ISDAO as an intern in January 2023, she was an advisory member of the Dignity Canada Network, where she advocated for the well-being and inclusion of LGBT communities in the South in development programs, in the same way as communities in Canada.
While Melody was a representative on the Dignity Canada Network, she also joined EGIDES as the Programme Chair on the Board of the Canadian-based Francophone alliance that promotes the visibility of LGBT communities in the Francophone space. This achievement also allowed her to be part of the GMP members of ITF (International Trans Fund) where her position was to rate applications and allocate grants to partners that fit into the vision of ITF. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Foreign Languages and a Master's degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Ghana Institute of Languages.
She identifies herself as a "mother hen" because she knows how to bring together young women and girls regardless of gender and sex to give them advice and guide them on the right path while remaining resilient, which led to the creation of her organization Amazones du Bénin pour l'inclusion (ABI) in 2020.
In her spare time, Melody is passionate about photography, make-up, music and fashion. Her favorite character is the singer, Adele.
Alassane is a Malian queer human rights advocate with over 10 years of professional experience in human rights, personal development, feminism, gender and sexual diversity, equity and inclusion, sexual and reproductive health, holistic safety, wellness and movement building strategies.
Prior to joining ISDAO, Alassane was the Executive Director of the Anti-AIDS Coalition for 6 years during which time the association was able to reach a National, Regional and International level. During his career, Alassane has been a Technical Consultant in Gender and Sex Diversity for HP Plus and VOICE GLOBAL - NETHERLANDS, a member of the International Advisory Committee of COC, and has piloted several mapping studies and Bio-Behavioral studies among key populations.
Alassane has a strong commitment to Theory of Change strategies, social change and social justice with a 3rd AWARD! VOICE - NETHERLANDS AWARD. Alassane holds a Master's degree in Financial Management from the University of Economics and Management of Bamako.
Alassane identifies himself as a Visionary and promoter of good energy and positivity. Alassane is passionate about music, video games, reading, dancing, discovery, culture, well-being and travel.
Alassane never tires of reflecting, reading feminist quotes and is very inspired by his mother's journey and the Dogon culture in Mali.
Alex is an expert in finance, risk management, operations, project management, and organization development, with over 20 years of experience in various international non-profit and non-governmental organizations. He joined ISDAO in December 2022.
Prior to joining ISDAO, he worked at Development Alternatives Inc. as Director of Finance and Administration. He has significant experience in NGO leadership, working directly with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Nigeria), the United States Department of State (USDOS), and well-known international nonprofit organizations including DevTech Systems Inc, Abt Associates Inc, FHI360, and Society for Family Health.
As Director of Finance and Administration, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of financial and operations management, including implementation of financial systems, budgeting, expenditure tracking, financial reporting and accounting, grants and contracts management, procurement, logistics, human resources management, and counterpart capacity building.
He has been involved in the establishment and structuring of various NGOs in Nigeria, developed and implemented process improvement plans, financial procedures manuals, accounting software, charts of accounts, transaction recording methodologies, voucher systems, templates, and documentation, which have contributed to the organizations' growth strategy.
He has a degree in Accounting and Finance and holds a Master of Business Administration and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management. He is also a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).
When not working, Alex enjoys traveling, researching and spending time with his family.
Gervin is a self-motivated and entrepreneurial international development expert with over 10 years of experience in the non-profit space. Gervin joined ISDAO in early January 2023.
Prior to joining ISDAO, Gervin worked as a Program Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning at the West Africa Civil Society Institute - WACSI, where he managed a portfolio of projects and also contributed to the Institute's monitoring and evaluation and learning functions. Gervin has demonstrated skills in results-based monitoring and evaluation, project management, grassroots advocacy, and resource mobilization. He is also a regular contributor to civil society discourse and thought leadership in the global south focusing on a cross array of themes including African philanthropy, shift the power, localization, and re-imagining NGOs.
Gervin is a master trainer for the Change the Game Academy as well as a certified online facilitator. He is also a member of the International Programme for Development Evaluation (IPDET) and the United Nations Special Advisor to Africa Knowledge Network. Gervin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Science from the University of Ghana and two Master of Arts degrees in development & governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and Global and international studies from the University of Leipzig, University of Vienna, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Gervin is passionate about social justice. He loves to travel, meet new people and discover new cultures.