Neema Namadamu is an advocate for peace and women’s rights and a disability rights activist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Born in the High Plains of Itombwe in South Kivu Province, Neema became physically disabled as a child after contracting polio. After becoming the first woman with a disability from her tribe to earn a university degree, she served in Parliament for South Kivu province and then as Chief Advisor to DRC’s Minister of Gender and Family. In 2012, Neema founded Synergy of Congolese Women’s Associations (SAFECO), a forum to foster collaboration among women-led NGOs to work on their Peace, Rights, and Development agenda.
Neema also founded the Maman Shujaa Media Center in Bukavu to empower women and give them voices to tell their stories. Maman Shujaa means “Hero Women”, and the project is designed not only to educate women but to give them a platform to share their stories with the world. Each woman learns to become a “digital activist” in the DRC.