Back to top

Shema Djamal

HOCA, Tanzania Community Empowerment Foundation (TACEF)

Shema Djamal is the founder and Executive Director of HOCA. HOCA was founded in 2003 and is the first organization in Rwanda that was established to fight for the rights of the LGBT community there. The main focus of HOCA is the trans community and trans sex workers. Shema has 15 years' experience in advocacy and fighting for the rights of the LGBTI. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern African Trans Healthy and Advocacy Network (EATHAN) and the representative of Trans in East Africa. She is one of the founders of African Trans Network (ATN), located in Nairobi. Shema is a member of the Steering Committee of the Tanzania Community Empowerment Foundation (TACEF).


The work of human rights defenders in Rwanda is undermined by the authorities' claim that human rights defenders encourage 'genocidal ideology' and 'ethnic divisionism', playing on fears which are still prevalent following the 1994 genocide.