Member of International Council

Alice Nkunzimana (Burundi)

Member of International Council

Alice Nkunzimana is a single mother of Burundian nationality. She has a degree in Computer Science, specialising in Management and Telecommunications. Alice is an active and dynamic defender for the promotion, protection and defense of women’s rights and more demanding the rights of girls. She was born in Rumonge provinde and currently resides in Bujumbura.

Alice is an integrated and committed person in the associative movements for human rights. She is the President of the Union of Market Vendors and Street Vendors of Burundi (SYVEBU). She has 12 years of experience in the management and implementation of projects, particularly those related to the inclusion of gender in all sectors of the country’s life, the economic empowerment of women and young people and coaching on the choice of innovative income-generating initiatives. She also has experience in coaching young people for reintegration and return to school. Alice has strong capacities in the management and coordination of work in consortia, coalitions and/or platforms.

Alice has experience in supervising and coaching community-based groups and various solidarity groups. She has also worked as a project coordinator in various local women’s rights organizations and worked in various volunteer roles. She has done consultations related to the promotion of women’s rights and the empowerment of women.

Afiavi Anastasie Chodaton (Benin)

Member of International Council

Anastasie Chodaton is the Acting General Secretary of am Acting  of Streetet affiliate Syndicat National des Vendeurs, Vendeuses et Assimilés des Marchés du Bénin (SYNAVAMAB) and she is a member of the International Council of Streetnet.

She also the current representative of market vendors sitting on the Board of Directors of Société de Gestion des Marchés Autonomes SOGEMA, and President of the Association des vendeuses Unies pour le Développement.

Within her work with these organizations, she carries out awareness-raising activities, actions for the fight for the rights of informal economy workers within markets in her country. They work upstream with the government for a good organization of the markets.

Anthony Kwache (Kenya)

Member of International Council

Anthony joined the informal economy in 1993 in Nairobi. Along the way, he moved to Kisumu and started trading along the street at the heart of the city. It’s here that Anthony started organizing of street vendors and marketeers. He became the chair of Kisumu Informal Traders in 1995 and was later elected as Management Board of KENASVIT in 1996 until 2012. In 2013, Anthony was elected as National President of KENASVIT and he holds that position to date. During this period, he was part of the national agitation for the enactment of Micro and Small Enterprises Act of 2010, which included the establishment of a MSE Authority, a Tribunal and a Fund, now known as Hustlers’ Fund. KENASVIT has been part of the MSE Authority Board since its inception. Anthony has been at the forefront advocating for comprehensive and inclusive social protection for KENASVIT’s members. Markets have been built for the members across KENASVIT’s regions and they have implemented collective bargaining between members and local authorities. Anthony is also a champion for giving space and enabling women and youth to take up leadership positions, as well as people will disabilities to be recognized and have leadership positions.  Currently, he is prioritizing issues related to Child Welfare and Occupational Health and Safety. Anthony considers advocating for inclusion in policies and influencing policy-making  is key. A luta continua – there is nothing for us without us!

Gbenga Komolafe (Nigeria)

Member of International Council

Olugbenga Ebenezer Komolafe, well known in Nigerian human rights and trade union circles as Gbenga Komolafe was born October 16, 1964 in Southwest, Nigeria. He came into limelight in 1989 when he was arrested by the General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida military junta, in the aftermath of massive popular protests against military despotism, economic mismanagement and political corruption. As Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), he helped to give articulation and purposeful direction to the opposition to military despotism in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Gbenga Komolafe graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1991 and immediately became part of a growing pro-democracy movement, co-founding the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), that has evolved into Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization.

In 1998, Gbenga Komolafe won a research grant by the Center for Research and Documentation (CRD), Kano, Nigeria to probe into the different dimensions of economic informality and the significance of the informal economy in the wider civil society.  He joined the American Center for International Labour Solidarity in 2002 but resigned his position as a Senior Program Officer in 2010 and started organizing the Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) in fulfillment of his long – standing passion to help organize working people in the informal sectors of the Nigerian economy. At a great personal sacrifice, he has led several campaigns on the streets to struggle against entrenched traditions of oppression and repression of informal workers. Since the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and its terrible impacts on working people in the informal sectors, he has devoted more attention towards ensuring that basic social insurance services especially health insurance, as well as life and accident insurance are extended to the working people in the informal sectors. Hundreds of informal workers have now enrolled in these programs for the first time.

Jorge Antonio Peralta (Guatemala)

Member of International Council

Jorge Antonio Peralta Pérez is from Guatemala. He has a diploma in Journalism and Labor Law from the National University USAC. He has also completed higher studies in graphic design, computing and web page editing. He is currently the General Secretary of the FENTRAVIG Federation. Jorge is 50 years old in 2023, is married and has three sons.

José Herminio Diaz Guevara (El Salvador)

Member of International Council

José Hermínio Diaz Guevara has been working in the informal economy since he was ten years old, particularly as a street vendor. He joined the organization FESTIVES when he was 17 years old as Youth Secretary. He stayed in that position for a long period. He then became Finance Secretary and is now the General Secretary of the organization. He has been a part of several associations of informal economy workers and he is a member of the StreetNet International Council at the international level.

Martha Garcia Santoyo (Mexico)

Member of International Council

Martha García Santoyo was born in 1960. She is the representative of FNOTNA, SNI’s affiliate in Mexico. She was the founder and is the current Secretary-Geral of the Asociación de Comerciantes en Pequeño de Matamoros Tamaulipas and has held leadership positions in many local associations in her region. Her work has been recognized in Mexico, especially by women’s organization. In 2014, she received a medal of “Mujer de Lucha, mujer con Valor” awarded by the Republicano Ayuntamiento of the city of Matamoros Tamaulipas.

Mwijuka Jesca (Uganda)

Member of International Council

Mwijuka Jesca is a mother of 3 children, a workers’ leader and activist for worker’s rights focused on changing the conditions of workers in the informal economy. She is also an online educator of informal economy workers. Jesca works as a market vendor in Mbarara Central Market.

She started in the labour movement as a secretary of Wakasanke market in 2010. She was appointed Union Clerk of Uganda Markets and Allied Employees Union in 2011. In 2015, she was also elected as Commitee Member of the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions in Uganda and Secretary of Youth Commitee.

She was elected Deputy General Secretary of Uganda Markets and Allied Employees Union in 2018. That same year, she also became a Board member of the National Organisation of Trade Unions representing informal economy workers.

Jesca is currently the Workers’ Councilor of Mbarara City since 2021. She also became the chairperson of a network of informal economy workers she helped to create in Uganda.

 

Tamara Bodnari (Moldova)

Member of International Council

Even in her youth, as a student, Tamara liked being amid of things, making friends with colleagues, helping them in different situations. And perhaps that is why at the age of 17 she was first elected as a trade union organizer of an entire faculty comprised of 300 students. The social activities absorbed her and she realized that helping and caring for others is her passion. Since then, she has not parted ways with the trade union movement.

For more than 16 years, Tamara has been in the friendly family of the Trade Union Federation “Moldova-Business-Sind”. Together with other colleagues, she tries to help members of the trade union in every possible way. As a trade union, they consider very important to protect the social rights of people trading in the markets of the country and self-employed workers. They hold joint meetings, trainings, seminars, make proposals in the development of various laws of Moldova. In recent years, work has also intensified on the creation of new primary trade union organizations and they have increased building relations with workers in the informal economy, specifically in matters of gender equality, combating violence in the workplace, urban policy and other topics. Tamara and “Moldova-Business-Sind” are grateful for the help and support they receive as a StreetNet affiliate.

Tamara is married, has two children and a granddaughter whom she loves very much. Her hobbies are organizing excursions and going fishing.