Heading that says Two Alumni Success Stories from the ADF Women’s Leadership Programme. An image below shows a woman facing a big screen as she is teaching. The screen says "Disability and intersecting identities"

Two Alumni Success Stories from the ADF Women’s Leadership Programme

About the Young African Women with Disabilities Leadership Program

The Young African Women with Disabilities Leadership Program is a regional, hybrid capacity-building initiative to empower young African women with disabilities. The Program runs over eight months of contact and virtual spaces and includes women with all types of disabilities and intersecting identities, fostering self-confidence and competence. The primary objective is to cultivate a robust, engendered Pan-African disability movement and strengthen the capacity of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to advocate for the rights of women with disabilities effectively. The inaugural cohort included 16 young women with disabilities from 16 African countries and ran from 2022 to 2023.

Rowena Dinah Koloi

Rowena Dinah Koloi is a highly motivated young lady who has seen the beauty of life through one eye. She holds a BCom in Real Estate and is currently a learner official (Real Estate officer) at Debswana Mining Company. She identifies as visually impaired (partially sighted).

Ms. Koloi is a published author of a motivational book titled ‘A Walk to Remember: Disability is not Inability.’ She has participated in the auspicious Young Global African Leader’s exchange program offered by the U.S.A Department of State in Washington, D.C.

She is the founding Director of the Abilities Expo, a space created for young people with disabilities in Botswana to showcase their different abilities.

She is also the chairperson of the Network of Young People with Disabilities. The Network aims to ensure adequate representation of young people with disabilities in different SRH policies and programming platforms.

Ms. Koloi has represented Botswana and young women with disabilities as a panelist, speaker, trainer and facilitator on several regional and continental platforms since her selection as a participant in the African Disability Forum (ADF) leadership program for young African women with disabilities in 2022, including the 8th Regional Steering Committee Meeting for the UNFPA Flagship program for young people (Safeguard Young People program) in South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique, the 4th Southern African Regional Student and Youth Conference (SARSYC) in Lilongwe, Malawi, the Conference (WEB for Life session), a discussion on sexual reproductive health and rights for young girls and women with vision impairment during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the East and Southern Africa UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Disability Inclusion Virtual dialogue on partnerships to end violence against women and girls with disabilities in Eastern and Southern Africa, the World Aids Day virtual panel discussion    on “Girls’ voices in Ending Aids, the Women Enabled International (WEI) and UNFPA Global Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender-Based Violence and Related Services for Women and Young People with Disabilities Curriculum, the YOUTHCONNEKT Summit in Kenya, Nairobi, focusing on empowering youth and addressing their vulnerabilities in mental health and sexual reproductive health.

Ms. Koloi has been honored with the prestigious Best Youth with Disabilities Pioneering Disability Issues Award at the Botswana Youth Awards 2022/2023. This accolade is a testament to her unwavering commitment to empowerment, advocacy, and making a positive impact in her community.

Uzoamaka Anita Asiegbu

Uzoamaka Anita Asiegbu is a Gender and Disability Inclusion specialist passionate about championing the representation and mainstreaming of women with disabilities in all aspects of society.

With experience working with UN Women, and completing her post-graduate degree in Women and Gender Studies (GEMMA) from the University of Lodz, Poland and the University of Bologna, Italy, Uzoamaka has mastered the requisite skills to ensure the inclusion of women with disabilities in gender equality.

Uzoamaka is particularly devoted to ensuring the inclusion of women with disabilities in workplaces and organisational cultures. As a woman with a disability, she understands first-hand how impactful it is for women with disabilities to be independent and earn a sustainable living. She is committed to ensuring this happens for as many women with disabilities as possible through workplace inclusion advocacy.

In 2023, Uzoamaka was nominated for a Woman of Europe Award under the Young Woman of Europe category based on her works on the full inclusion of women with disabilities in Gender Equality agenda.

In the nearest future, Uzoamaka plans for a society where women with disabilities do not just occupy prominent spaces but also create renowned spaces in diverse industries.

Uzoamaka is an alumna of the Young African Women with Disabilities Leadership Programme 2022, hosted by the African Disability Forum (ADF). She is currently working as an intern at the International Labour Organisation’s headquarters in Geneva where she supports the ILO Global Business and Disability Network secretariat to promote disability-inclusive workplaces for member companies.

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