Iregi Mwenja is our founder and the CEO. He has dedicated his life to taking head on a taboo subject in Africa - mental health. He always says, “this is not just professional, it personal”. As a child, he faced many hardships growing up with undiagnosed ADHD, a painful experience that bred unpleasant memories that haunted him into adulthood.
An Acumen Fellow 2018, Iregi left a well-paying job as a Country Director of and International NGO to pursue his passion of positively transforming the lives of people like him; people who have been misunderstood, discriminated and mistreated for simply being different.
Rather than lament about his predicament, Iregi turned his personal adversity into an opportunity for helping people going through similar challenges so that they can have a better chance to enjoy a healthy life and achieve their life goals with much less difficulty.
Under his leadership, PDO is advancing mental healthcare and advocating for the rights of people with mental illness. We do this through advocacy, providing free therapy and socio-economic empowerment of people living with psychosocial disabilities.
Today, PDO provides free mental health services to the vunerbale and marginalized including; prisoners, Solai dam disaster survivors, drugs addicts from Nakuru slums, people suffering from various mental illnesses and vulnerable school children.
Through his efforts, thousands of Kenyans have received free therapy, free diagnosis and treatment, and the much-needed social support for those in recovery or those rejected or ostracized by the society or their families.
Iregi is also an outspoken mental health advocate who doesn’t shy away from talking about his own condition to help enlighten the society about the need to create safe spaces for people going through psychological challenges.
He has started a national campaign dubbed #MovingMountains for #MentalHealth to help raise awareness and normalize discussion on mental health in Kenya.
He is doing so by hiking major mountains in Kenya to prove two things; that it is possible to move the biggest mountain – mental health stigma in Africa, and that people with psychiatric conditions can overcome even the toughest mental and physical challenges, just like everyone else. He has already successfully done the toughest of them all – Mt Kenya!
Solai Aftermath promo
PDO's Work in Solai