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Sex educator Kaz among three Kenyans selected for TED fellowship programme

Sex and relationship expert, singer and actress Karen Lucas, popularly known as Kaz, is among three Kenyans selected for this year’s TED fellowship.

On Wednesday, TED unveiled 20 fellows for the TED Fellows Programme Class of 2021.

Joining Kaz is a filmmaker and cultural innovator Jim Chuchu and mental health innovator Tom Osborn.

Kaz is an educator building a positive and safe space for sexual discourse in Kenya through her podcast and TV segment, The Spread.

Through these platforms, Kaz continues to illuminate and confront the pleasure gap, challenges, restrictive LGBTQ+ policies and emphasises on reproductive rights.

Chuchu is a filmmaker and founder of The Nest Collective, a Nairobi-based artist group.

His film, Stories of Our Lives, celebrates the narratives of Kenya’s queer community in the midst of pervasive societal censure.

He is also the founder of the HEVA Fund, the first organisation in the region dedicated to making capital investments in the creative sector and building financial infrastructure around creative pursuits in East Africa.

Osborn is the founder of Shamiri, a youth-led organisation providing mental health care solutions to teens across Kenya, where 45 per cent of young people are reported to suffer from clinical depression.

In a region where mental health professionals are scarce and disorders are stigmatised, Shamiri implements evidence-based, low-cost wellness interventions in Kenyan schools.

The TED Fellows Program convenes young world-changers, academics and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage in their respective disciplines, selected through an intensive application, interview and research process.

This year’s selection spans five continents and represents 14 countries, including, for the first time, Peru.