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.

Dr. Onesmo ole-MoiYoi

Dr. Onesmo ole-MoiYoi

Dr. ole-MoiYoi trained at Harvard Medical School as a physician, and has continuously worked on developed- and developing-country problems, at the interface between human and animal health research. Between 1977-1981, he held teaching and research positions in medicine and molecular immunology at Harvard University. In 1981, he joined the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (now ILRI) in Nairobi, where he was Senior Scientist, Coordinator for the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Laboratory and Project Leader in Pathophysiology and Genetics. The biochemistry and molecular biology of African trypanosomes and Theileria parva, a unique protozoan parasite that causes an acute leukaemia-like disease, were the areas of study.

Subsequently he became the Director of Research and Partnerships at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. Working within ICIPE’s mandate that embraces a 4-H paradigm – human, animal, plant and environmental health – he supported researchers to develop environmentally-sound and sustainable solutions for the tropics’ most pervasive disease vectors, including malaria and trypanosomiasis (carried by tsetse flies). Also at ICIPE, he oversaw the African Regional Program in Insect Science (ARPPIS), which employs the 4-H paradigm, has a network of 32 university partners and has trained over 280 MSc and PhD scholars across Africa.

Currently he is a senior consultant to the provost of Aga Khan University East Africa. He is Chairman of the Board of Management for the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and is involved in the development of a new agricultural umbrella organization for Kenya. He is also a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the Southern Africa Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), and a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the University of California System-wide Global Health Institute.

Nicola Blundell Brown

Nicky Blundell Brown is the Programme Manager, African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF). She has a background in Communication and languages and is an inveterate logistics person and networker. Most of her working life has been spent with AMREF both in Europe and Africa, where she has been responsible for putting on major fundraising and promotional events, as well as being responsible for international co-ordination with AMREF’s network of 10 European and 2 North American affiliates.

Now based in Africa, as well as being Special Events co-ordinator for AMREF, Nicky is co-ordinating the processing and documentation of AMREF’s history and setting up an appropriate system to ensure accessibility to the organisation’s 48 years of experience in bringing health care to East and Southern Africa.

Patricia Gathuri

Patricia is a dedicated and professional senior bank manager with 28 years experience in the banking industry. She has worked in Barclays Bank of Kenya, Commercial Bank of Africa and is currently at Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya as the Head of Public Sector.Patricia has been a valuable Board Member of TICAH.

Patrick Maundu

Patrick is an ethnobotanist working at the National Museums of Kenya (Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge – KENRIK). He is also an honorary fellow at Bioversity International (formerly International Plant Genetic Resources Institute – IPGRI). Patrick has devoted much of his life to research and promotion of local foods. He led a multi-institutional traditional vegetables research and promotion initiative (2001-2006) in 10 African countries that saw the return of traditional vegetables in the Kenyan markets and diets. For these efforts, he was recognized as a guardian of biodiversity in a Global campaign for Diversity for Life and in addition received the international CGIAR communication award in Washington late in 2006. Lately Patrick has been coordinating a community-based research project which aims to understand the link between diversity of plants that households have access to and their dietary patterns and nutrition and health status. This work involving Kenya, Benin and South Africa received an award during the 2011 UNDP/FAO South-South and triangular cooperation’s solutions forum on Global Health, Agriculture and Food Security.

Patrick is a member of the African Ethnobotany Network, the Kenya Society of Ethnoecology (KSE) and the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE) among others. He is currently working on the Foods of the Eastern African People, A photo guide of foods of the Nairobi people, a recipe book on African leafy vegetables collected from 12 countries and Participatory methods in ethnobotanical research.

He is the principal author of two books – the Traditional Food Plants of Kenya (1999) and Useful Trees and Shrubs for Kenya (2005). He is also an editor of the Useful Trees and Shrubs of Ethiopia (2007) and more recently (2013) Foodways of the Pokot and Isukha Communities of Kenya.

Professor Kimani Njogu

Kimani Njogu is a linguist, lterary critic and cultural scholar. He is the Director Twaweza Communications and Executive Director Africa Health and Development International (AHADI).

Until 2003, he was Associate Professor of Kiswahili and African Languages at Kenyatta university.Between 1998 – 2007 he was was Council Member of the International African Institute, University of London. In 2004, Kimani was appointed a Member of the three-person Task Force for the East African Kiswahili Council in the East African Community, drafting the Kiswahili protocol for the Council of Ministers.

He is recipient of the 2000 pan-African Noma Award for Publishing in Africa for a Kiswahili book. For over a decade he has served as Chairman of CHAKITA-Kenya (The National Kiswahili Committee); and Chair of the Board at the Legal Resources Foundation and CODE-IP Trust. He is also Member Kiswahili Cross Border Commission at the Academy of African Languages and Member Working Group on Safety and Security of Journalists in Kenya.

Dinah Musindarwezo

Dinah Musindarwezo is the Executive Director of FEMNET (the African Women’s Development and Communication Network), a pan-African membership organization working to advance women’s rights and amplify African women’s voices across Africa. She is a gender equality and Development Expert with over ten years of experience working on issues of gender and development, women’s empowerment and human rights at national, regional(Africa) and international levels. Dinah is a feminist who is passionate about advocating for gender justice and equal rights for all.

Dinah serves on UN Women Africa Regional Civil Society Advisory Group, is a Co-Chair of NGOCSW Africa, a Board member of Center for Citizens’ Participation at African Union (CCPAU) and Steering Committee member of Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) and the Post 2015 Women’s Coalition. Dinah holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. She is an African citizen from Rwanda.

Connect with Dinah at and/or @DinahRwiza.


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