Katie Lesyna-Mlaponi, MS

Country Director

Katie is a co-founder and the Country Director of Thrive Afya Tanzania. Katie received her Master's in Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she conducted research on human rights litigation and maternal mortality in Uganda. Prior to receiving her MS, she worked for the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, received a Fulbright grant to conduct research on the disclosure process for HIV positive children in Tanzania, and volunteered for Support for International Change in Tanzania. Her interests include adolescent and women's health and rights, cultural humility, and health system strengthening.

Simon Gervas

Simon Gervas

Programs Manager

Simon is a co-founder and the Programs Manager of Thrive Afya Tanzania. Prior to TAT, Simon was the Tanzanian Programs Manager for Support for International Change, where he oversaw HIV/AIDS program planning and implementation, supervised field staff, and collaborated with government, NGO, and community leaders. His hobbies include soccer, traveling, music, and reading.

Yusuph Ibrahim Mlaponi

Yusuph Ibrahim Mlaponi

Operations Manager

Yusuph is a co-founder and the Operations Manager of Thrive Afya Tanzania. Prior to TAT, Yusuph worked for Support for International Change as Babati District Coordinator, field officer, and teaching partner for four years. His work at Support for International Change focused on HIV/AIDS support for rural communities in Babati District. He received a BA in Political Studies from Kyambogo University.

Waziri Njau

Waziri Njau

Technical Expert

Waziri is a co-founder and a technical expert for Thrive Afya Tanzania. In addition to working with TAT, he works for CARE International as a Regional Partnership Development Supervisor for a micro-lead expansion program. Prior to TAT, he has worked in various development and health organizations in Tanzania, including Off-Grid Tanzania, CARE International, Africare, Support for International Change, and Heal International. Through this work, he has gained a wide variety of health experience primarily focused on reproductive health. Waziri received a B.Ed in Humanities and Social Sciences from Tumaini University. His hobbies include games and sports especially soccer, music, and literary works.

Mershil Kivuyo

Mershil Kivuyo, LLB

Legal Adviser

Mershil is a co-founder and the TAT Legal Advisor. He manages the statutory compliances and legal risk analysis. In addition to working with TAT, he works for Tanzania Geothermal Development Company as a Manager Legal Affairs. Prior to his current employment, he has worked in law firm based in Arusha before joining the National Utility Company (TANESCO) as a legal officer. Before joining Law school of Tanzania, Mershil worked for Support for International Change as assistant field officer (Babati Office), Volunteers Program Coordinator and teaching partner for two years. His work at Support for International Change focused on HIV/AIDS support for rural communities in Babati District. He received a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, Post Graduate Studies in Legal Practice from the Law School of Tanzania and currently pursuing Masters of Law Degree in Corporate and Commercial Law at the University of Dar es Salaam. His hobbies include traveling, watching movies and reading.