Acting Executive Director: Michael Kaiyatsa
Michael Simon Kaiyatsa is an avid human rights advocate with more than 10 years of experience in managing governance and human rights-related projects. He is particularly passionate about sexual and reproductive health rights, HIV and AIDS, LGBTI and social inclusion. His main areas of expertise include: behavioral change communication, capacity building, advocacy and resource mobilization.
Coming from a robust media background, Michael is also an accomplished writer with vast experience in media and development. In 2012, he authored a book titled “Challenging prejudice” with support from the Other Foundation. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Prize for his article analyzing the impact of cash transfers on poor households in Malawi. Michael has also contributed articles to various local and international human rights publications, including Reflections on Sexuality and Equality in Africa Volume 1 produced by AmSHER; Building Bridges: Mainstreaming Sexual and Gender Diversity produced by SIMAVI, and the State of Right to Information in Africa Volume 1 and 2 published by the African Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC). Michael has also contributed to various human rights reports, including the 2019 Shadow Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Malawi, the 2017 Shadow Report on the Situation of Intersex Children in Malawi and a series of reports on Abuse, Discrimination and Violence on the Basis of Real or Perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Malawi.
Michael is also an accomplished researcher with over 5 years’ experience in research design and implementation. He is currently doing research on the social determinants of burns with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Campus, in two districts of Malawi, namely Lilongwe and Salima. He is also researching on the legal enabling environment for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Malawi with the Washington-based Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). From 2011 to 2012, Michael was engaged as an in-country resource person for the Johannesburg-based Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), an African institution committed to the creation of open societies through support for democracy, human rights and good governance.
Michael’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Cultural Studies obtained from the University of Malawi and a Diploma in Journalism from the Malawi Institute of Journalism. Michael also possesses various professional certificates and diplomas on a wide range of human rights issues, including an Advanced Certificate in Sexual Minority Rights obtained from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, a diploma in LGBTI and Human Rights from the Swedish Centre for Sexuality Education obtained in Stockholm, Sweden; a Certificate in Health and Human Rights obtained from the World Health Organization (WHO) and In-Went Capacity Building International in Germany and a Certificate in Human Rights Leadership from the Global Human Rights, Leadership Training Institute in Lagos, Nigeria. Michael also possess two diplomas in Community Development from Malawi’s Skyway University.
Before assuming the position of Programmes Manager, Michael headed the Resource Mobilisation and Advcaocy Department for a period of 2 years and the department of Research and Training for 3 years. Michael also acted as Programmes Manager from 2016 to 2017.