Roseline Orwa

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights | Kenya

2021 New Voices Fellow


Roseline Orwa is a Kenyan social entrepreneur focused on gender equality, and rural development. She is founder of the Rona Foundation, which supports rural widows and champions the protection and advancement of their rights, alongside orphan education, care and support via the Rona Orphans and Widows Centre in rural Kenya. She is an appointed Commissioned Expert with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, and a devoted champion of widows rights.

Her impactful initiatives played a crucial role in the recent global adoption of the UN widowhood resolution policy. Currently, she is actively campaigning for the enactment of the Siaya Widows Protection Bill (2023), a significant step towards safeguarding widows from harmful cultural practices. As the Executive Director of the Rona Foundation, Roseline extends her advocacy beyond legal victories, providing essential support to widows through food, healthcare, and housing. The foundation also addresses broader challenges faced by vulnerable youth, advancing climate change actions, offering education for orphans and vocational trainings.

Roseline’s influence extends globally as a Humanitarian Global Goodwill Ambassador and a recipient of the 2019 Global Cultural Influencer Award from the Modern Widows Club. A fellow of the Aspen Institute’s New Voices Program on Media and Advocacy, and a lifelong Fellow of the Atlantic Social Economic and Equity Program at the London School of Economics, she serves as a global storyteller with the Moth and a columnist with the national newspaper, the Star.

Despite her academic and professional achievements, Roseline’s true impact shines through her role as a guardian mother to numerous orphaned children. Leading a center in rural Kenya, she remains a beacon of hope, embodying resilience and compassion in the face of adversity.