Neema Namadamu Founder, Maman Shujaa of Congo

Neema Namadamu was born in a remote tribal region of Itombwe, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Stricken with polio at the age of two, Neema has been an advocate for change for most of life, starting in the 11th grade when she began a weekly, one-hour radio program raising awareness for persons with disabilities. Neema was the second woman from her tribe to graduate from Congo’s national university, and the first woman with disabilities to graduate from college.

Immediately after University, Neema was selected as a Deputy in her province’s Parliament. From there, DR Congo’s Minister of Gender and Family selected her as Technical Advisor. Neema is now based in Bukavu, her home province of South Kivu in Eastern DRC, where she has continued to promote right mindedness in her nation; advocating for women’s rights, rights for persons with disabilities, and rights for the indigenous people through a Media Training Center for women, part of World Pulse. Neema also supports an NGO of handicapped women seamstresses who make purses and fashions for U.S. based Shakoshi Imports.