Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, 58, passed away on October 1st 2017 in Nairobi Kenya. A funeral service will be held at EASSI Secretariat on Thursday 5th October at 2.00 PM and there after a vigil starting at 5.00 PM.
Marren Akatsa-Bukachi was born to the late Senator Shelemiah Mbeo Onyango of Mfangano Island, and the late Councillor Loise Auma Mbeo of Oyugis, on 22 October 1958 in Kisii, Kenya.
Marren had a Master’s Degree in Public Health Leadership from the Uganda Christian University (2009), a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Delhi India (1979), a Certificate in International Policy Advocacy from the School of International Training, Washington DC-USA (2010), and a Certificate in Project Administration and Development from the Kenya Institute of Administration, Nairobi Kenya (2008).
Marren was an acclaimed Feminist, Gender, Peace and Security, Trade and Development specialist with an extensive background in Gender and Social Development and Public Health Leadership of more than 20 years’ experience working at local, national and regional level for government, development partners and civil society.
GIVING HER ALL TO SERVE HUMANITY: MARREN’S CAREER JOURNEY AND ACHIEVEMENTS
From 15th June 2004 until her passing, Marren was the Executive Director of the Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI). During her 13 years at EASSI, Marren was a dedicated champion of women’s rights and gender equality in the Eastern and Horn of Africa.
She is credited for leading EASSI and other women’s rights organizations in the EAC Partner States in a campaign for an EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill. The Bill was finally passed by the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on March 8th 2017, after 10 years of campaigning.
She then spearheaded research and compilation of the first EAC Gender Barometer (2016). The Barometer is a participatory people centered research report from the 5 partner states of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi that contains information and statistical data from the different areas that need to be gender responsive.
The construction of EASSI House and Training Centre is a landmark achievement for Marren’s 13 year tenure at the regional organization.
Besides EASSI, Marren’s work experience included:
2000-2004: National Programmes Officer at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi Kenya.
1995-2000: Programmes Officer at the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED)- Kenya.
1990-1995: National Programmes Secretary at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) -Kenya
1987-1990: Deputy Principal Rehabilitation Officer at the Ministry of Culture and Social Services Kenya. She also served at this ministry in various capacities from 1980-1987.
KIND AND WARM PERSONALITY
Marren positively influenced so many different people throughout her life with her charisma, elegance, kindness, compassion, grace and belief in people’s potential, regardless of one’s background.
STRONG FAITH IN GOD
Her lifelong faith in God and her positive outlook remained strong even as she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, right through to the difficult final months. She was surrounded by loved ones during the last months and she encouraged everybody to be strong up until the end.
She is survived by four daughters Vera Gahuya, Louisa Taini, Abigail Camilla and Jedi Azania. Loving grandmother to Tjano and Nailo Marcozzi.
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