It is with great heartache that we share the news about the passing of our dear colleague Mercy Nzioki. Mercy joined the Council’s Kenya office in 2013 in the then Poverty, Gender, and Youth Program. Prior to that, she had worked in various organizations, all focused on elevating the needs of marginalized groups. At the Council, her work focused on girl-centered programming: supporting partners and organizations that were running programs for adolescent girls—from grassroots organizations in Kenya to large NGOs operating in the region. She worked to design and implement curricula, conduct trainings, and provide ongoing monitoring and support to our partners. Mercy was a passionate and fierce advocate for girls, navigating seamlessly among girls, mentors, staff, researchers, donors, and government partners. She was also a board member of She’s the First.
Beyond the direct work, Mercy will be remembered for her spirit. Her energy and love of life touched everyone. She was always there with a story, a laugh, or a smile to brighten the day and show that she cared. Mercy had an ability to bring people together. Those that she worked with, traveled with, trained with, shared meals with, and laughed with are better off for Mercy having been a part of their lives. Her strength and resilience in her fight with cancer have been, and will continue to be, a model to all.
Mercy is survived by her daughter, parents, sisters, friends, and colleagues. She will be dearly missed, but her commitment to gender equity, girls’ rights and living life to its fullest will remain with us all.