Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, November 2023
Seventeen grant proposal peer reviewers were selected to assess and recommend where the money goes in the Foundation’s 2023 open call for grant applications. One hundred and three applications to be peer reviewers were received from 12 countries. Here are the 17 peer reviewers for 2023.
Click on the images below to watch what some of the 2023 peer reviewers said about the grant proposal peer review process and the advice that they have for grant and peer reviewer applicants.
Bradley Fortuin | Botswana
Bradley is a social justice activist with extensive experience in program design. Bradley has a track record in supporting and creating several impactful accountability processes, including the successful registration of LEGABIBO and supporting the Repeal 164 campaign, which contributed to the decriminalization of consensual same-sex relations in Botswana.
Claudina Shimanda | Namibia
Claudina is the assistant programs officer at the Council of Churches in Namibia. She is also a project planner, researcher and mental health coach. She is part of the African Peer Review Mechanism which enables African countries to share experiences, reinforce best practices, identify deficiencies and assess capacity building needs to foster policies, structures and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth and sustainable development.
Connex Khomba | Malawi
Connex is a LGBTI activist and transgender man from Malawi with experience as a grants and advocacy officer at the Ivy Foundation. He is particularly dedicated to addressing discrimination and violence against lesbian women, transgender women and intersex people.
Deyonce Naris | Namibia
Deyonce is a feminist, human rights, and gender activist and is the interim director of the Transgender, Intersex, and Androgynous Movement of Namibia (TIAMON), which advocates for the human rights and bodily autonomy of trans-diverse people. Deyonce was the chairperson of the Southern Africa Trans Forum, which is an alliance of trans organizations that are trans-led and trans-specific in their focus.
Diana Mailosi | Zimbabwe
Diana is a public health specialist and human rights advocate. She has worked as a capacity strengthening consultant for organisations such as Positive Vibes, HIVOS, Gender Dynamix, the Southern African Trans Forum and Bonela, amongst others. She is currently the advocacy coordinator for a multi-country project focused on access to healthcare for vulnerable populations.
Donwell Mpofu | South Africa
Donwell is an educator, transgender activist and human rights defender, striving to create an inclusive and safe space for students across southern Africa. Through his activism, he aims to break down barriers, challenge societal norms, and foster acceptance of transgender people.
Eli Ndumba | Namibia
Eli is an independent LGBTI justice advocate. He has a background in administration and has worked in the service industry. He has also worked with an organization focused on youth business development, giving expression to his passion about the economic participation of young people.
Godfrey Kambewa | Malawi
Godfrey is the executive director of the Angaza Foundation, a human rights advocacy organization that ensures that LGBTI groups have access to social and health services.
Joaquina Nasceu | Mozambique
Joaquina currently works for Por Ela which promotes the human rights of lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women. She has a background in clinical psychology and social work. She participated in the We Lead programme as a focal point for the safety and protection of women affected by displacement, HIV, and disability, and women who are LBQ and trans.
John Ondiek | Seychelles
John is the chief executive officer of United for a Purpose Brigade which works with vulnerable people to advance their sexual and reproductive health and rights. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in transformational church leadership from Pan Africa Christian University in Nairobi Kenya, and has been a trainer with the Aids and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa.
Lorraine Setuke | Botswana
Lorraine is an independent researcher, an LBGTQI+ human rights advocate, and software engineer in Botswana. She is a founding member and former vice-chairperson of Lesbians Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).
Mary Chard | Zimbabwe
Mary is the co-founder and executive director of Rise Above Women’s Organisation (RAWO). She was instrumental in setting up the first LBQ Women’s Movement in Zimbabwe which was loosely formed around a small membership of LBQ women who were looking for space to work and socialize. She is also a long standing member of Zimbabwe’s national LGBTI organization, GALZ.
Mphatso Sakala | Zambia
Mphatso is the executive director of the Intersex Society of Zambia. They are part of the leadership of the African Intersex Movement (AIM), which brings together intersex activists from across Africa. Mphatso has played an active role in intersex activism in Africa and has demonstrated both passion and commitment to intersex human rights advocacy and documentation.
Nyx McLean | South Africa
Nyx is a transdisciplinary researcher who holds a national research foundation (NRF) rating for their contribution to the study of LGBTIAQ+ identities, communities and social movements. Nyx is recognised for their strong understanding of continental politics and human rights matters relating to LGBTIQ people, especially transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse identities and lived experiences.
Randrianarisoa Raymonde | Madagascar
Riana is an independent journalist focused on investigative and cross-border journalism. She is a founding member and the current general secretary of the Madagascar network of investigative journalists. She has a master’s degree in communications and media.
Ruth Kedikilwe | Botswana
Ruth is the managing partner at Relay Media and Communications, established to empower the social justice movement through media. She worked for Botswana’s largest newspaper, The Sunday Standard as an editor and was the gender focal point for The Standard and The Telegraph. She was in the task force for the ‘gender mainstreaming in the media’ campaign that resulted in a significant increase of women in newsrooms.
Terrie Molepo | South Africa
Terrie is a marketing professional with a passion for LGBTI activism, especially in corporate spaces. Through her non-profit organization, Trans Narrative Consultancy, Terrie has collaborated in an initiative that assists trans and non-binary people to acquire skills to enter the job market. Terrie is also the co-chairperson of UNITE SA, the LGBTI forum of the WPP group of advertising agencies in South Africa.
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, October 2022
Thirteen grant proposal peer reviewers were selected to assess and recommend where the money goes in the Foundation’s 2022 open call for grant applications. Ninety-one applications to be peer reviewers were received from 10 countries. Here are the 13 peer reviewers for 2022. Click on the images below to watch what some of the 2022 peer reviewers said about the grant proposal peer review process and the advice that they have for grant and peer reviewer applicants.
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, March 2021
For the first time and as a result of the COVID-19 limitations, a reduced number of peer reviewers were be identified by the Foundation from the pool of reviewers who have previously helped to make decisions about which grant applications receive funding. This break from the usual practice of selecting peer reviewers through an open call was so as to ensure efficient management of the peer review process. The panel continues to reflect the necessary geographic, gender identity, sexual orientation, skills, sectorial and other demographic diversities that ensure a good mix of different knowledge and networks. Peer reviewers are not paid for their time but the Other Foundation does pay all expenses for participation. We selected 11 peers of grant applicants from Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to participate in the Peer Reviewers Workshop and make recommendations to our board about which concept proposals should be funded. One peer reviewer is not profiled here due to security concerns in their home country. The Foundation extends a heartfelt thank you to all the peer reviewers below who have continued the tradition of the Foundation’s participatory grant making practice. Some peer reviewers submitted short video messages about their experience of the two-day peer reviewer workshop. Click the thumbnails below to watch. Below are the biographies of the 10 peer reviewers. Anjeelee Kaur Beegun has a background in public law and has formerly taught constitutional and administrative law at the University of Réunion. She has joined Collectif Arc-En-Ciel, Mauritius-based LGBT rights organisation in 2018, where she has successively held the positions of Head of Legal and Advocacy, Deputy Director and finally Executive Director. She has experience working on strategic litigation in regards to decriminalisation of same-sex intimacy. She also undertakes consultancy works on SOGIESC and diversity and inclusion trainings. She is a Human Rights Campaign Foundation 2020 Global Innovator. Aunício da Silva Emília Avalinho is an entrepreneur in the media area and is the founder and editor of IKWELI Journal based in the city of Nampula, northern Mozambique. For a little more than seven years, Aunício worked as a communications manager at several Mozambican non-governmental organizations and collaborated with various magazines, newspapers and national and foreign news agencies. Aunício holds a degree in International Law from the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Mozambique in Nampula. He has been an activist and human rights advocate for over ten years. In recent years through the platforms of his newspaper has stood out in the defence and promotion of the rights of LGTI people. Caroline Mudzengi is an LGBTQI+ activist from Zimbabwe who is a Programmes Officer for Voice of the Voiceless, an LBQT+ organisation based in Zimbabwe. Carol’s pronouns are she and her. She is a queer feminist and artist. She is a healing justice practitioner and intersectional thinker. Carol advocates for inclusion of LBQT+ persons in Zimbabwe and uses her creative expression in the form of batik paintings and poetry to channel some of her perceptions of different subjects. Carol is always seeking innovation in how queer identifying individuals can interrogate intersectionality with other struggles and build alliances with other movements. She is an artivist, a former professional dancer and also a student. Carol has been active as an LGBTQI activist in various capacities for over 10 years. Tshegofatso Joshua Sehoole enjoys driving context-relevant strategic advocacy which he pursues through research, strategic engagement, capacity strengthening, and advancing policy and legal reform. His approach is grounded in social justice, centering marginalized communities and seeking to subvert and dismantle oppressive power dynamics. Tshego is inspired by African feminist, decolonial ideals, and values meaningful partnerships rooted in community that recognize individual and communal wellbeing as political priorities. Some of his current passions include serving as: Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Manager at the Engine Room; A member of the Centre for Human Rights Legal Task Team on the Semenya case; A lay-leader at Beit Emanuel Progressive Synagogue; Participating in the SOC 8 reform process by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health. He is grateful for the amazing activists who have walked before him and those who walk with him, the support and nurturing by his family and community, the guidance of his ancestors, and the continual Presence of Divine Grace Khumbo Soko is a is a graduate of the Universities of Malawi and Warwick in Coventry, England where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws degree in International Economic Law (with distinction) respectively. Khumbo has been admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Malawi since May 13, 2010. His areas of practice have included criminal law, unjust enrichment, constitutional and human rights law (with a focus on rights of LGBTI persons), labour and employment law, adoption law and corporate and business law. In November 2014 Khumbo founded the law firm of Soko & Co, based in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city specialised in commercial law litigation and advisory services in the business law, inter-Country adoptions, immigration, investment and legislative lobbying. He was the President for the Malawi Law Society for one year from February 25th 2017. He had previously served as the Society’s Honorary Secretary from February, 2014 to February, 2017. Peer reviewer from Zambia whose identity is not disclosed. Liberty Matthyse is the Executive Director of Gender Dynamix. Identifying as a trans non-binary person, she/they hold a Master’s Degree in Law (cum laude) focused on non-discrimination and marriage equality for transgender persons. Liberty also holds qualifications in Project Management, Leadership, Financial Management and Strategic Business Management (University of Cape Town). She/They can be defined as a community-centred, critical-thought, human rights and social justice activist whose passion in fighting for dignity, equality and freedom for trans and gender diverse persons drives their/her dedication to achieving positive change. Author to a self-published book “A Darling’s Journey to Liberty”, in her/their spare time she/they enjoys playing tennis, writing and spending time with loved ones, particularly in their/her hometown of Darling. Melanie Judge is a queer and feminist activist and scholar. She is an adjunct associate professor in public law the University of Cape Town and holds a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies. As an independent consultant, Melanie collaborates with local and international NGOs and donors on strategy, process facilitation and research to advance social justice. As a long-time activist for sexual and gender rights, Melanie has played a prominent role in advocacy, law reform, research and training in the field. Her work is widely published in the mainstream media and in academic books and journals, and she is author of the monograph ‘Blackwashing Homophobia: Violence and the Politics of Sexuality, Gender and Race’ (Routledge). Melanie has served on the governing boards of numerous NGOs and is currently an executive member of the Sexuality and Gender Division of the Psychological Society of South Africa, and a trustee of GALA, the national queer archive. Nosipho Twala is an educator and researcher at Labour Research Service, a non-profit labour support organisation that provides research, information and participatory education for the development of trade unions and communities in South Africa. Nosipho is a feminist, a gender activist and works with trade union activists and community activists to build cultures of gender equality and social justice. She is passionate about creating safe and inclusive spaces. Nosipho is a Gender at Work associate and a core author of “Equality is everyone’s Business” a guide for worker’s, employers, HR managers, trade unions and NGOs on eliminating homophobia and transphobia in South African Workplaces. Previously, Nosipho was a coordinator of Remmoho Women’s Forum, a women’s network of the Anti-Privatization Forum. Reuben Silungwe has worked as a mathematics examiner since 2008 and is currently working as: Programs, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for Zambia Sex Workers Alliance (ZASWA); a Part-time Research Assistant (young key populations’ health issues); and as a Regional Consultant (sex workers health). He is an IAVI Fellowship, IAS/AVAC HIV-Cure Research Advocacy Academy Fellowship, HR4P 2018 and 2020 Scholar, Sex Workers Academy Africa and Mandela Institute of Development Studies and Civil Society Leadership Programme Alumni. Reuben has been employed full-time as an educator (science and mathematics) and citizen journalist. He has held some senior positions in a few not-for-profit organisations. Tshenolo Jennifer Madigele (BA, MA and PhD) is a Theology Lecturer at The University of Botswana. Her teaching areas include Practical Theology and Systematic Theology of which Ethics, Pastoral Care and Counseling are taught. Her research interests include, Human Sexuality, with a focus on the LGBTI (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and the intersex) communities, Botho Pastoral Care and Counselling, Pastoral Care and Counselling of the LGBTI persons, Religion and Spirituality and Elderly Care. One of her relevant publication: Tshenolo J. Madigele, “Informed by heterosexual moral norms? Raising some moral questions for traditional leaders, lawyers and the general public in Botswana” and James N. Amanze and T.J. Madigele, “What is love got to do with it: A Theological Analysis of Passion killings in Botswana and the response of the Church”, BOLESWA Journal of Theology, Religion and Philosophy, vol. 4, no. 2 (Dec. 2014) pp. 206-222.
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, May 2019
A total of 69 applications from 12 southern African countries were received under the call for peer reviewers, showcasing expertise in an array of fields from activism, business, research and the arts. We selected 15 peer reviewers with the strongest applications to help us make decisions about where the money would go under this round of grant applications.
Below are the biographies of all 15 peer reviewers:
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, May 2018
We issued a call for applications for peer reviewers of our grant applications for this round, and are overwhelmed by the breadth and quality of applications we received. For the first time ever, we received applications from each of the thirteen southern African countries we work in, and total applications tallied at an impressive 226.
Some of our peer reviewers were invited to reflect on video, about their participation in this peer review process, share some highlights about the applications they reviewed and to give tips to future grant applicants.
David Ikpo, and Liberty Matthyse.
We selected the following peer reviewers:
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, October 2017
We asked our some of peer reviewers for their reflection on the peer reviewer process, and the state of lesbian and trans* organizing in our region. Here’s what they had to say . . . [click on any thumbnail below to play a video clip]
We looked to the expertise of self-identifying lesbian women and transgender people as well as other LGBTI activists and allies to help make decisions about grant allocations for this special call for grant applications to combat discrimination against lesbian women and trans* persons.
From the 54 applications received from ten countries, we selected the following peer reviewers:
Aubrey Chacha Based in Harare, Aubrey is a projects member at Transsmart Zimbabwe and an advocate for trans health and legal rights in Zimbabwe. Aubrey spearheaded the Ethics Project department as a projects manager of ENACTUS Africa University, and was part of the regional YKP Forum organised by SADC. Aubrey holds a Honours degree in Computer Information Systems.
Ava Thancanamootoo Ava is based in Mauritius where she works as the archives officer at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute. Previously, Ava worked as the safe space program specialist at the World Church Service, and as a legal intern at Lawyers for Human Rights in Pretoria. Ava is the founding member and project manager of Their Rights Foundation, and holds a Master of Laws in International Protection of Human Rights and Personal Freedom.
Caine Youngman Caine is a human rights activist from Botswana, with over 11 years of advocacy and training work experience at local, regional and international level. Currently, Caine works as the Advocacy and Awareness Raising Manager at LEGABIBO, and previously worked at the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS. Caine is studying towards a Master of Science degree in Project Management.
Ishmael Makhuludzo Ishmael is the founder and executive director of Gender Links Youth Network. Based in Mzuzu, Malawi, Ishmael was a peer reviewer at the Other Foundation’s first peer review process in 2014 and has worked on many projects mainly around advocating for the human rights of LGBTI people. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities.
Jholerina Timbo Jholerina is the founder and executive director of Wings to Transcend Namibia, a trans focused organization, as well a current board member of Out Right Namibia. Based in Windhoek, Jholerina previously worked for the Rainbow Project, and has a background in sexual reproductive health rights. She is also a YALI alumni, where she underwent Civic Leadership training.
Kumkani Siwisa Based in Johannesburg, Kumkani is a LGBTQ tech and communications activist. They previously held the communications position at Pan Africa ILGA, Gender DynamiX, and has consulted for Sonke Gender Justice, Aids and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa and ASTRAEA. They hold a degree in Communications and Marketing and lead the Communications Advocacy Project.
Luckmore Jalisi Luckmore has over 11 years of experience in youth programming, social movements, activism, LGBTQ rights and fundraising for non-profits. He is a human rights and governance activist currently working for ActionAid as it Youth Programme Advisor for SADC, as well as it global focal person for LGBTQ rights. Luckmore holds a Master’s of Science in International Development.
[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] Nomsa Manzini Based in Johannesburg, Nomsa is an activist with experience in LGBTI organizing and advocacy, especially in rural and semi-urban areas. Nomsa’s is currently the National Coordinator at Iranti-org, previously having worked at loveLife as its programmes manager. Her extensive skillset includes targeted training, project management, finance management and monitoring and evaluation.
Onkokame Mosweu Onkokame is an activist from Botswana, with extensive experience in LGBTI programming and organizing. While he is strongly affiliated with LEGABIBO having worked at the organization for two years, his professional network extends to several LGBTI and other marginalised communities outside Botswana. Presently, Onkokame is the advocacy offcer at Men for Health and Gender Justice.
Ricki Kgositau Residing in Cape Town, Ricki is a well-known independent activist from Botswana, and the current executive director of Gender DynamiX. Ricki sits on the board of Global Advocacy for Trans Equality, as well as AIDS Accountability International, and is an experienced resource mobiliser. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations.
Nandi Msezane Based in Benoni, Sybil has over 15 years of project management and human rights work experience, and serves on the boards of the International Federation for Women Lawyers, and the Dinaledi Mentorship Programme. Sybil is presently employed as the Event Project Manager at Black Tower Consulting Group, and was the programme coordinator for the Collective of African Sexuality Related Rights Advocates based at the Coalition of African Lesbians. Thobeka Bengu Thobeka is a performance art and human rights activist, performer, choreographer and the artistic director of the Rainbow Theatre Company, a project of the Gay and Lesbian Network. Thobeka is based in Pietermaritzburg and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Performance Studies. [/ezcol_1half_end]
Liesl is the founder and former executive director of Gender Dynamix, which was the first organization in Africa to focus its work exclusively on transgender people. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Liesl initiated a number of projects that contributed to the growth of a transgender movement in South Africa and the region. Her research on transgender issues is widely published in academic journals.
For this special call for grant applications to combat discrimination against lesbian and transgender people, we looked to the expertise of self-identifying lesbian women and transgender people to help make decisions about grant allocations.
From the 21 applications received from seven countries, we selected the following peer reviewers:
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers, August 2015
Final decisions have been made about our August 2015 grant peer reviewers, by a selection panel that included members of the Other Foundation team and an independent panelist, Zwelijongile Gwebityala. Zweli is a 28-year-old black gay businessman in Johannesburg. He grew up in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa where his own experiences as a young gay man influenced his drive to live out and proud in order to provide other young gays with a template of how life can “get better”. He holds a degree in applied maths from WITS university and prior to opening his own company, he worked in corporate South Africa including McKinsey, where he led corporate initiatives aimed at making work places more LGBTI friendly. He is an avid supporter of the Other Foundation and is actively involved in philanthropic work in the education field.
We received 17 applications from 6 countries. The following peer reviewers were selected:
Majo is a married father of two girls. He is an English teacher at a primary school in Chimoio, Mozambique. He also runs a company that provides translation and interpretation services. In addition, he volunteers in the Youth Parliament of Mozambique and is an online accountability advocate with Youth in Action, a network of young people that is promoting greater accountability for the implementation of the post 2015 development goals. Majo shared his thoughts on the difference this peer review process makes in the selection of grants.
Solum is a human rights activist and a program officer at Malawi’s Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP). His work involves research, education and training, and advocacy to create an enabling environment to end stigma and discrimination, particularly focused on men who have sex with men and LGBT people. He was involved in the production of the publication Queer Malawi, A Collection of LGBT Stories. Solum spoke about his role and the insights gained from participating in the peer review process.
Humphrey is a public health practitioner. He is the Director of the Sexual Rights Centre in Zimbabwe and has been active in a wide range of human rights advocacy efforts for many years. He previously worked as an occupational therapist and a trainer in field epidemiology at the University of Zimbabwe. He is currently doing research on the intersection of religion, culture and human rights for sexual minorities.
Lineo is the community facilitator and LGBTI specialist at Sesotho Media and Development in Lesotho. The first born in a family of four females, two of whom identify as trans men and are known lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] activists in Lesotho, Lineo joined an LGBTI activist grouping in 2008 as a peer educator, quickly becoming the organization’s president until its legal registration. Lineo joined its secretariat as its dialogue and advocacy program manager until earlier this year. Lineo gave advice to prospective grant applicants, on the key ingredients for a succesful grant application.
James Katlego Chibamba
James is an assistant student counselor at the University of South Africa [UNISA]. He founded and is the current president of Gays and Lesbians of Rustenburg [GLOR] in South Africa’s North West province, which does LGBTI psychosocial support, educational and advocacy work. James was also an intern at the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action [GALA] library and archives at WITS university in Johannesburg. James took a moment to give insight on what makes a good proposal for a grant.
Thandeka is the founder of Thanda Afrika, a LGBTI human rights activism and arts trust. She identifies as a lesbian woman. As a social entrepreneur in Zimbabwe, she provides arts and cultural spaces for people to exist freely without facing harassment, threats, or violence for not fitting into traditional gender categories. Thandeka shared her reflections on the peer review process and her thoughts for the future.
Liesl Theron is the founder and a former executive director of Gender Dynamix, which was the first organization in Africa to focus its advocacy and outreach work exclusively on transgender people. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Liesl initiated a number of projects that contributed to the growth of a transgender movement in South Africa and the region. Her research on transgender issues is widely published in academic journals. Liesl shared her thoughts on what makes our grant making so unique.
Born in Uganda, Dolar has worked on international development programs for over 20 years, including at the United Nations, VSO, and Oxfam. Dolar joined Iranti.org in May 2014, supporting the director with organizational and programme development. She is the author of the book, Not Yet Uhuru – lesbian flash erotica. She also works as an independent consultant from Johannesburg.
Dumisani is a Zimbabwean living in South Africa. A former high school teacher in Bulawayo, he is actively involved in religious ministry to LGBTI people in the Catholic church in Johannesburg – mostly those who have moved to Johannesburg from other countries in the region in search of greater social acceptance. He works as a communications and advocacy consultant.
Renald is a project manager at the Synergos Institute’s Johannesburg office, responsible for a multi-stakeholder network established to improve services to children in South Africa. He previously worked at the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, the Open Society Foundations, and the Community Dispute Resolution Trust. Renald is a board member of Sophiatown Community Psychosocial Services, an inner city agency in downtown Johannesburg that provides counseling and other support services to refugee and other migrant communities in the city.
Grant Proposal Peer Reviewers in 2014
Twelve peer reviewers were appointed for the Other Foundation’s 2014 round of grant making. The group represented a geographic and demographic spread, as well as a wide range of expertise, which are essential for a good grant proposal review process. We wish to thank Makhosazana Xaba, for her lead role in the selection of the peer reviewers and the facilitation the peer review process. Makhosazana Xaba is a South African poet, and is also trained as a nurse and has worked as a women’s health specialist in NGOs, as well as writing on gender and health. The peer reviewers were selected from 32 applications received from 7 eligible countries. They worked individually first, and then in four teams, assessed 98 grant applications that qualified for consideration, in order to recommend to the Other Foundation’s board of trustees which applicants should be given grants. This was done during a workshop in Johannesburg in April 2014. The peer reviewers were Muhshin Hendricks, Florence Khaxas, Ishmael Makhuludzo, Patience Mandishona, Zethu Matebeni, Pilot Mathambo, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Nolene Morris, Jabu Pereira, Janet Shapiro, and Marinus Uys.
To understand a bit more about some of our peer reviewers, we wanted to tell you a bit more about Muhsin Hendricks.
As a devout Muslim “innately attracted to the same sex”, Imam Muhsin Hendricks, who is a grant proposal peer reviewer for the Other Foundation, has had to struggle with the cultural and religious pressure that forces people to conform to social gender roles.
This pressure resulted in him marrying a woman he would never be able to fully satisfy, and with whom he would not be able to satisfy his own personal and emotional needs. Hendricks says that during the time he was was doing Islamic studies in Pakistan, to numb the pain of being married to someone he knew he could not physically and emotionally bond with, he immersed himself in his work.
However, after six years of marriage he decided to divorce, and his coming out led to him facing rejection by his family and community, resulting in him losing his job as a religious teacher and assistant Imam. With no support, he lived in a small room next to horse stables on a friend’s farm.
This painful experience led him on a journey of reconciling his faith with his sexuality. A few years later, he founded the Inner Circle, an organisation providing support to Muslims who feel marginalised and victimised because of their sexuality and gender.
The Inner Circle, based in Cape Town, offers social and spiritual programmes to enable people to reconcile their Islamic faith with their sexuality, to help people reach a point of self actualisation.