Modern Widows Club Legendary Widow Award Winner

2019 Recipient

Roseline Orwa

Roseline and Carolyn at the 2019 MWC Leadership Conference
The stigma attached to widows in Kenya is overlooked in the country’s strive for gender equality. Traditions used to “purify” the widow further violate women’s freedom with exacerbating health crises in the region. Education and grassroots initiatives are integral to any transformative policies that promote social and economic inclusion.
— Roseline Orwa

Nairobi/Kenya
Roseline Orwa is a force of nature. Roseline is not only a recognized widow-activist and a Global Ambassador for Modern Widows Club, she also serves as the Founder and Director of Rona Foundation and the Rona Orphans and Widows Centre in Wagoma Village, Kenya. She is the first International Affiliate Advocate for Modern Widows Club.

Widowed in 2008, Roseline saw her grief turn to outrage at the ostracization and cultural practices directed at widows. Her outrage turned to action as Roseline helped to outlaw “widow cleansing” in Kenya through legislation, the 2015 Domestic Offenses Bill, protecting widows from cultural “cleansing” practices. She continues to bring awareness to gender inequality in Kenya. Her work at the Rona Foundation provides food, health care and homes to widows while providing education for orphans and training in tailoring to vulnerable youth. Her work has changed countless lives.

In addition to her degrees and diplomas from Daystar University and the Technical University of Kenya, Roseline is a life-long Fellow of the Atlantic Social Economic and Equity Program at the London School of Economics, has trained with the National Democratic Institute for Leadership and Political Negotiations in Advocacy, and currently serves as a Humanitarian Global Goodwill Ambassador. She was awarded the 2019 Global Cultural Influencer Award by Modern Widows Club.

Rona Foundation

IMAGE SOURCE: Jenn Fortune Photography

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