Advisory Board Member at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Cleo Kambugu is a 30 year-old Uganda transgender activist, with a BSc. In Agriculture (crop pathology, biotech and genetics) from Makerere University Kampala College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and is currently finishing with her MSc. in Molecular Biology and biotechnology from Makerere University from the College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity. She has worked severally on different projects with the National Biotechnology Centre and with the National Agricultural Crop Resources Research Institute for her internship and as a research assistant and MSc. Fellow with her work majorly revolving around the molecular pathology of the East African Highland Bananas, and on the Molecular Entomology of Cassava towards alleviating poverty and famine She has also worked with the National Genetic Resource Institute on Animal reproductive Biotechnology. Her activism work revolved around her working as a social anthropologist and researcher for the transgender community in Uganda first on free lance and pro bono basis before she joined the trans support initiative as the Programme Officer grant making, fundraising and research. TSIU is a not for profit organisation working for the social justice of trans diverse persons and communities in Uganda. She later joined UHAI EASHRI first as a programme assistant grant making and capacity support with her working revolving around running the capacity support leadership and organizational development programme of the fund as well as assisting in the manning of the grant making and grant administration docket. Her work with the fund saw her grow the grant making docket by over USD 400,000 and saw her streamline the docket with the development of a database to stream line the grant making processing monitoring, evaluation and reporting and archiving. She is currently the Grant Administration officer of the fund. In her bid to raise awareness about the need for comprehensive trans specific health for the trans* community in East Africa Cleo did a documentary “the pearl of Africa” in which she featured as a protagonist. Even before its official release, the documentary has gone ahead to achieve global recognition from CNN, HBO, AOL, the advocate and the Huffington post to mention but a few. The documentary went head to win an award with the international Planned Parenthood federation of America for the global media excellence award and premiered in the Hot Docs Film festival. She continues to lend her hand to regional, continental and global processes to raise awareness about and support for the trans community and people, and has been pivotal in the formation of the international Trans Fund, the Pan African Advocacy Programme, and the Astraea Advisory board where she sits to contribute to the strategic direction in the fund’s grant making portfolio in Africa.