With deep sadness, we learned of the untimely passing of John Odada, Director of Kenya Youth Development and Education Support Association (KYdesa) and a leader in the GALCK Coalition. John Odada was a psychologist, human rights defender and HIV activist based in Nakuru, Kenya. For over a decade, he has championed the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Kenya in different capacities including sitting on the board of GALCK in 2012. He was also a mental health advocate and addiction counsellor who used his skills and expertise in helping LGBTQ+ persons deal with depression, substance abuse and other mental illnesses.

The late John Odada had been unwell and had asked a friend to take him to the hospital. He was rushed to Afraha Maternity. On Monday, 17th May 2021, John Odada was pronounced dead on arrival. His funeral arrangements are underway, and the burial date is set for Tuesday 25th May 2021, at their Ngata Home, in Nakuru County. KYDESA Advisory Board, staff, and significant others came up with a burial committee, whose meetings are held daily 4.00 – 5.00 pm at the KYDESA Milimani Office, Nakuru. Daily candle lighting is done at the same office and at Odada’s home in Ngata, Nakuru.

We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, the Kenyan LGBTQ+ community and the GALCK Coalition that has lost one of it’s leaders. John Odada will be remembered as a tireless defender of LGBTQ+ rights in the Rift Valley region. His legacy and courage in the service of others will be carried forward by those who love him and believe in what he fought for. May his soul rest in power.

For more information, you can reach out to Philip Mauni, KYdesa’s Deputy Director, at philkeny1@gmail.com or through +254 711408582. 

The GALCK Secretariat.