Staff

Toni Kruger-Ayebazibwe
Toni Kruger-AyebazibweExecutive Director

Based in Johannesburg.
Pronouns: She, her
Toni Kruger Ayebazibwe was appointed Executive Director in December 2017.
Toni, based in our office in Johannesburg, South Africa, brings a range of expertise stretching from management to technology and design and theology. She has a long history of LGBTI activism, specifically in HIV prevention work, having worked in the design and management of HIV prevention and care programmes for LGBT people at OUT – LGBT Wellbeing. She has strong facilitation skills. In recent years she has worked mostly in the private sector in media and technology management, gaining a solid grounding in human resource management. She was an assistant pastor to the Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla of the House of Prayer and Worship, an independent African church in Soweto.
Toni has a BA degree in Communication Science, English and Philosophy, and an Honours degree in Philosophy. She has completed short courses in Intervention Mapping for AIDS Prevention (University of Maastricht) and Human Resource Management (University of Pretoria) and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Theology at St Augustine College, a private Catholic university in Johannesburg. She is a lay minister in the Anglican Church.

Simon Petitjean
Simon PetitjeanProgramme Manager

Based in Paris.
Pronouns: He, his
Simon Petitjean, is one of GIN’s Programme Managers, since October 2016. He is Franco-British, holds a BSc in Economics and International Development from Bath University and a MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, and has 7 years of experience in international policy (working at the European Commission, UNESCO and OECD) and human rights work (in South East Asia and East Africa, notably working in NGOs and for local political representatives). Previous to this position, he was Treasurer and Board member of the French LGBT organization, SOS homophobie, and interned at UNESCO, to work on the first UN report examining violence against LGBT youth in schools around the world. He and his partner live in Paris, France.

Pierre Buckley
Pierre BuckleyProgramme Manager

Based in Johannesburg.
Pronouns: He, his
Pierre Trevor Buckley, our second Programme Manager, since January 2018, is a young gay man, a people person, rooted in his faith, an excellent relationship builder and skilled in programmatic work. He is completing a BA degree in Politics and Communication Sciences through the University of South Africa, and was a Mandela Washington Fellow in 2016, completing a Certificate in Civic Leadership through Duquesne University. He is also a licenced Lay Minister in the Anglican Church. He has worked for the Gay and Lesbian Network (GLN - a South African LGBTI organisation based in Pietermaritzburg) for the last three years, most recently as the Operational Manager and was previously on the GLN board. He is a person of colour, and a South African.

Chantel Fortuin
Chantel FortuinPart time facilitator for the Hearts Set on Pilgrimage Retreat

Based in Gaborone
Pronouns: she/her
Chantel is a black lesbian woman from Botswana and considers herself an African feminist theologian, and has a strong passion for theology as a discipline and a practical way of life. Her interest are especially its interaction with spirituality and sexuality. Chantel has a BA degree in theology and her work focuses on faith, and inclusion and their link to human rights. She has a long history of LGBTI activism and an aspiring minister of the word and works of Christ in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

GIN Global Amabassadors

Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla
Rev Nokuthula DhladhlaInaugural GIN Global Ambassador

Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla is a Pastor of House of Prayer and Worship (HPW) which started in 2015 in Soweto. Previously she was a Senior Pastor of Hope and Unity MCC (HUMCC) since 1998-2010. She was ordained in 1998 officially as a Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) pastor until 2010. Rev Nokuthula is also a part of Deo Gloria Apostolic Network of churches which is based in Durban. She is the member of Global Interfaith Network (GIN), a member of Circle of Concern African Theologians Women, a Board member of Micah project, a committee member of Association of Christian Religion Practitioner, she is also a Vice -Chairperson Dialogue for change. She is currently working as Project Officer for SANERELA+ part-time and a Founding member of the new association which is called Ashes to Purpose. She previously worked for Ecumenical Service for Socio Economic Transformation as a project officer.
The life and experiences of Rev Nokuthula has been documented in several book chapters, and documentaries (Miriam Dancing by Elise van Wyk, to have and to hold by Melanie Judge, Faces and Phases by Zanele Moholi and different magazines (bona 2015). DVD and also at an exhibition “Journeys of Faith – Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity” held at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
She has a Diploma in Theology and a 3 days short course – Urban ministry – Pretoria University 2008. Other trainings: SAVE training tool on HIV, gender and sexuality by INERELA, training and resource development- created in the image of God by IAM, One Body material – on human sexuality, the inclusive church and image of Godin the face of HIV and AIDS by Nordic – FOCCISA. She is recently been asked by Soulforce to be the Advisory Team member in creating Gender Justice theological resources.
In the years since then, Nokuthula has participated in a very wide range of work in the field of religious dialogue especially – convening and participating in many meetings with religious leaders, working towards establishing greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people in the faith sector. Among others, she has made a very important contribution to a process convened jointly by the Church of Norway and the Fellowship of Christian Councils of Southern Africa (FOCCISA) to begin a process of dialogue and training material with the councils and their members towards creating greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people in Southern Africa. She has also been involved in designing the training curriculum for LGBTI people of Faith engaging in as Dialogue partners. She was recently ask to speak on a side event, CSW63 in UN Preventing gender base violence: the role of the religious leaders. Her focus was on LBTI.
She facilitated workshops around rural areas for LGBTI integrating sexuality and spirituality for the Micah Project; and in convening a dialogue process for the House of Rainbow, a UK based network of LGBTIQ friendly churches. She is also one of the founder members of Dialogues for Change, a recently established organization aiming to convene dialogues with South African religious leaders around greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people. She runs a healing space for young Lesbian women and gender non conforming woman. That aims to help in healing the internal wounds that have prevented then in finding their purpose.
Nokuthula is an exceptional human being – she is grounded and compassionate, and from her life experience, able to articulate exactly why LGBTIQ people must be valued and recognized as full human beings, especially in faith-based contexts. She has a great deal of experience of dealing with difficult contexts and is able to stand her ground. She is a powerful, funny, deeply human speaker. Nokuthula is a person of great passion, someone who is committed to making a different world possible and someone with immense dedication to activism. She is well known within the LGBTI sector and beyond. She has volunteered her time extensively to facilitate workshops and sensitization trainings in several provinces. She has done this in collaboration with numerous NPO’s.
Most recently she has also participated in a side event convened by the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion at CSW2019 around the role of religious leaders in preventing gender based violence (March 2019), as well as at a side event convened by GIN at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on religious institutions around the world affirming LGBT people (July 2019).

Volunteers

Volunteer Translators:

Arabic – Maha Jouini
French – Michael Cousin
Russian – Tatjana Lehatkova

We are still looking for Spanish, Chinese and Swahili translators. If you wish to volunteer, please contact us on info@gin-ssogie.org

Thank you very much to all our volunteers!!

Governance Board members

Jacq Carver
Jacq CarverBoard Secretary, Representative for Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand

Based in The Netherlands
Faith tradition: Jewish
Pronouns: they, them, theirs.
I have been a queer rights activist since I came out in the late 1970’s and have participated in numerous protest and equal rights movements in the US, the UK and Europe, including Act Up in New York, anti- Clause 28 protests in London and Amsterdam, and same-sex marriage protests in the Netherlands.
I believe passionately in equal rights for people all sexes, genders, gender identities, and expressions and have, in one way or another, worked toward achieving equality and acceptance for several decades. I also believe that creating and maintaining Jewish spaces that welcome and embrace LGBTIQ+ people is tikkun olam - repairing the world; It is not enough to be a passive consumer of equal rights won by others but we all must do what we can to ensure that all people enjoy equality.
While marriage equality has been written into law in many countries, the changes have not yet brought about a concomitant change in peoples’ attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities: we can laud tolerance all we want but tolerance is wafer-thin and laws can always be repealed. We have to do more to ensure that the (sometimes grudging) acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people is not as fleeting as the life of a mayfly; continued action, education and effort is necessary in order to change ideas and attitudes. Just as every generation must find out the Torah for themselves, so every generation must work to preserve our hard-won rights.

    Sanjay Sharma
    Sanjay SharmaRepresentative for South and Central Asia

    Based in Nepal
    Faith tradition: Hindu
    Pronouns: He, his
    Bio: Sanjay Sharma is an LGBT rights activist from of Nepal. He has been involving in Nepal’s LGBT rights movement since 2003 through different projects on HIV/AIDS, human rights activism, constitutional campaigns, advocacy, capacity building, academic research, and others from grass root level. Sanjay is currently the Assistant Program Director of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s leading LGBT rights organization. BDS is one of Nepal’s largest non-governmental organizations with over 750 full-time staff, 53 offices, and an annual budget exceeding $1 million. Sanjay is also the founder vice president of the board of the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities Nepal, which is the network of all LGBTI rights organizations. Regionally He is Task force member of The South Asian Human Rights Association of Marginalised Sexualities and Genders (SAHRA) also Board Member of Global Interfaith Network representing South and Central Asia. His contributions to the LGBT movement in Nepal On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Sanjay was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBT people before the Supreme Court. He is working closely with interfaith network of Nepal on SOGI issues. He attend regional faith leaders dialogue at Bangladesh also involve in panel discussion. He was a member of the Country Coordination Mechanism of the Global Fund (CCM).. On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepalissued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Sanjay was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBT people before the Supreme Court.

      Human Rights Defender
      Human Rights DefenderRepresentative for Latin America

      Our Latin American Board member is a human rights defender and finds themselves currently in a compromised situation in terms of security. For this reason we have removed their name and details from the website.

        Sharon Cox
        Sharon CoxAdditional South African Board member

        Based in South Africa
        Faith tradition: Christian
        Pronouns: She, hers
        Rev Sharon Cox has been in the human rights sector for over 20 years. Sharon has been with Triangle Project, the oldest LGBTI human rights organisation in Africa, for the past 10 years as their Health and Support Services Manager. Sharon has a passion for what she does and is actively involved in the monitoring of hate crimes in the Western Cape and providing court preparation, support and counselling to survivors and families. Micah Project, a small Non-Profit organisation is also close to Sharon’s heart. Micah comprises a group of more radical activists who believe in justice, kindness and being humble whilst being unafraid to speak out. Micah also assists in direct and concrete ways in which other human rights organisations are not able to because of funding constrictions. Sharon was formerly the African Development staff member with Metropolitan Community Churches. She values interfaith work and regularly contributes to joint platforms between faiths. Sharon was a respondent in the case for marriage equality in South Africa, which was realised in 2006. Sharon holds a post graduate degree with majors in Criminology and Psychology and studied Theology through the Pacific School of Religion in Berkley California

          Kakay Pamaran
          Kakay PamaranBoard Co-Chair, Representative for East & South-East Asia

          Based in the Philippines
          Faith tradition: Christian
          Pronouns: She, hers

          Rev Kakay Pamaran is a pastor, ecumenist, peace activist, gender justice advocate, and Bible teacher. She currently serves as Coordinator of Union Theological Seminary's Field Education Office in Dasmarinas in the Philippines. She is also adjunct professor in Scripture and Interpretation. She has a degree in Psychology from Silliman University and a Master of Divinity from UTS. She is completing her course work for her Master of Theology in New Testament and Historical Jesus Research, and convenes the Center for Gender and Sexuality of the Union Theological Seminary.

            Dillon Mohamed
            Dillon MohamedRepresentative for the Caribbean

            Based in Guyana
            Faith tradition: Christian
            Pronouns: He, his

            Dillon is the Caribbean representative on the board of the Global Interfaith Network. Aged 27, he holds a Diploma in Theology and Christian Ministry from the AOG Bible College in Guyana and certificates in Aeronautical Information Services and Air Traffic Management from the Guyana Civil Aviation Training School. Dillon is an air traffic controller by profession and student of the University of Guyana pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Linguistics. As an active member of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD Guyana) and lay pastor of the Hope of Christ United Anglo-Catholic Church (Guyana's first LGBTQ affirming church), Dillon has been on the forefront of advocating for LGBTQ rights particularly engaging churches and para-church organisations. Dillon is a lover of nature and animals and also an astute advocate for the environment and indigenous peoples, religions and languages. His greatest dream is to one day see a world where there is peace, love and equality for all of humanity.

              Ishmael Omumbwa
              Ishmael OmumbwaBoard Co-Chair, Representative for Sub-Saharan Africa

              Based in Kenya
              Faith tradition: Islam
              Pronouns: He, his

              Ishmael Bahati is the Executive Director of PEMA Kenya (a place of solace in Kenya), - an organization in the coastal region of Kenya that works to protect human rights and advance social inclusion through policy and advocacy interventions, health promotion and socio-economic empowerment programs for the Gender and Sexual Minority community (GSM). He has been in the forefront in the fight for GSM rights. He was one of the LGBTI activist in Kenya who presented affidavits, which would present a petition in the Kenya High Court seeking the repeal of a section of the penal code that criminalizes consensual same sex engagements, as well as being actively involved in policy reforms and advocacy. Bahati, is a co-founder in both PEMA-Kenya and the Centre for Minority Rights and Strategic Litigation (CMRSL). He has served in the Key Population consortium and Global Fund’s Kenya Coordination Mechanism, Community Advisory Board (CAB) KEMRI representing interests of Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs). He is a certified trainer in Comprehensive Sexuality Education and religion.
              As a member of the GIN Speaker Bureau, was selected to prepare a statement for the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that would ensure the respect of the principle of non-discrimination and equality in law and in practice, including LGBTI persons of faith. Mr. Bahati also sits as a board member in the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), the Defenders Coalition’s Protection Working Group for human right defenders as well as the Mombasa and Shimo la Tewa Court Users Committee (CUC).

                Noor Sultan
                Noor SultanBoard member for the Middle East North Africa

                Based in Egypt
                Faith tradition: Islam
                Pronouns: She, hers

                Noor Sultan has been an activist for 10 years in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity in Egypt and Sudan. In 2010, her co- founded Bedayaa Organization. She worked as Networking and Communication director at Bedayaa Organization for five years before she was elected to be the Executive Director of Bedayaa Organization in 2016. During the past four years she has been responsible for managing the organization, planning and implementing many projects. In the last two years Noor contributed to the advocacy movement in Egypt by becoming the general coordinator of the Alliance of Queer Egyptian Organizations. In December 2017, Noor awarded the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic for her great work that influenced the LGBTI movement in Egypt.

                  Fikile Vilakazi
                  Fikile VilakaziAdditional South African Board member

                  Based in South Africa
                  Faith tradition: African traditional spirituality / Christian
                  Pronouns: They, them

                  Fikile Vilakazi is a former Executive Director (2007 – 2012) of the Coalition of African Lesbians, a radical feminist organization in Africa that is based in South Africa to champion a collective of African lesbian women feminists. She currently serves as a board member of the Advice Desk for the Abused, an organization that works to defend survivors of gender based violence in Durban and a member of the Durban Feminist Shayisfuba Collective in South Africa. She has been involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] activism; feminist activism and gender based violence activism in Johannesburg, South Africa, Africa and Internationally since the year 2004. Prior to that she was involved in student, youth, women and gender politics, social and public policies in South Africa with specific focus on leadership, youth and sex work, adolescent sexuality, community development and women organising between the years 1993 - 2004. She is currently an academic and an intellectual activist working at the School of Social Sciences within the department of Political Science and Public Policy lecturing in both disciplines. She continues her activism through a lens of corporate social responsibility, community mobilization, feminist organising and intellectual activism. She is a former board member of the Advice Desk for the Abused in Durban, a former board member for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), current board member for the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), a current board member for the Global Interfaith Network (GIN) and a current board member for the 1in9 Campaign in South Africa.

                    Ken MoalaRepresentative for the Pacific

                    Based in Australia
                    Faith tradition: Christian
                    Pronouns: He, his

                      Phumzile Mabizela
                      Phumzile MabizelaAdditional South African Board member

                      Based in Johannesburg
                      Faith tradition: Christian
                      Pronouns: She, hers

                      Rev. Phumzile Mabizela is the Executive Director of the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or personally affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+) INERELA+. She is also:
                      Member of Faith Advisory Council to UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion.
                      Member of the World Council of Churches International Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy International Reference Group
                      Co-Moderator of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance HIV Campaign Strategy Group
                      Member of the SANAC Legal and Human Rights Task Team.
                      Board Member of:
                      * Esset
                      * Nyarwek- Let Good Be Told In Us.
                      * Ujamaa Centre for Community Research
                      * Inclusive and Affirming Ministries.
                      * GIN-SSOGIE
                      Member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians.
                      She was employed by Norwegian Church Aid as the Senior Policy Advisor on Gender Justice in Southern Africa in 2012. Prior to that she was the Chief Executive Officer of the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council from 2006-2011