Dr. Jacobet Edith Wambayi, Kenyan-Born HIV/AIDS activist Nominated for RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants

Filed under: Headlines,Success Story,Top Story |


Jacobet Edith Wambayi immigrated to Canada in 2001 while already advocating for communities affected by HIV/AIDS. She has since volunteered and worked with AIDS service organizations in various capacities. She conducts community workshops and provides support to those living with the disease and those at risk.  A single mother of four children and five grandchildren, Wambayi experienced a difficult abusive marriage in Kenya. She made a hard choice – to divorce her husband and win custody of her children in order to pursue further studies at London University in the U.K. and pursue her master’s degree. She continued with her studies to PhD level, finally deciding to immigrate to Canada due to economic hardships, societal stigma associated with divorce, and an uncertain political atmosphere.  Already highly qualified in the U.K. where she earned her master’s of science in medical parasitology and a PhD in immunology and parasitology, Wambayi upgraded her education in Canada with certificates in community-based research, continuing medical education as well as HIV/AIDS volunteers peer education.

She has worked hard to uplift the status of immigrant community members, successfully obtaining very competitive  funding to do community projects and research among marginalized immigrant communities. Wambayi holds several significant positions, including her current one as the executive director of the Uzima Women Relief Group International and board member of the Horn of Africa Seniors Association of Ontario. She has been co-chair of the Africans in Partnership against AIDS in the past.  From 2007 to 2015, she was the technical advisor to the Canada Ministerial Advisory Council Federal Initiative on HIV/AIDS, Research and International Committees where she advised the federal minister of health on the federal initiative on HIV/AIDS, working to keep the Canadian strategy on HIV/AIDS flexible and responsive to the changing nature of the disease, making recommendations for action to reach communities at risk and developing long-term plans for future actions on HIV/AIDS.  Wambayi has also helped fellow newcomers in her role of project co-ordinator at the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) in Toronto where she conducted province-wide training workshops with service providers in domestic violence prevention against immigrant and refugee women and building their capacity to use community development strategies for prevention of domestic violence.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login