Hamisa Zaja, a Kenyan activist feted for championing rights of persons with disabilities

Judy Ndunge News & Updates April 15, 2024

Hamisa Zaja, the founder of Coastal Association for People with Disabilities, has been recognised globally for her work in empowering persons with disabilities, youth and women.

Zaja was amongst the four women from around the globe who were nominated for the Women Building Peace Award 2023 by the US Institute of Peace(USIP).

USIP is a national, independent institute, founded by the US Congress, dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible.

The Women Building Peace Award is given each year to a woman peace builder who has made contributions to preventing conflict and building peace in her country or region.

Zaja got her award on March 1st 2024, in recognition of her work in empowering persons with disabilities, youth and women while simultaneously promoting peace-building efforts in her community.

Who is Zaja?

During her childhood, Zaja suffered from polio which led to complications with her left leg. Her upbringing was financially burdensome for her parents as she required specialised care. However, with the help of kind-hearted individuals and a determination to succeed, she attended school and achieved her aspirations.

Reflecting on the acts of kindness bestowed upon her, Zaja felt compelled to reciprocate in kind. Her peace work dates back to 2005.

She established a resource centre in Majengo, Mombasa. Today, the centre supports more than 1,500 individuals annually including youths, women, and persons with disabilities.

Zaja has further championed the implementation of sanitation infrastructure in Majengo, Kongowea, and Bangladesh (areas situated in Mombasa, Kenya) to combat diseases resulting from poor hygiene.

Other notable awards she has received include the Africa SAN Award in 2015, the Women Leadership and Security Award in Washington D.C, USA in 2014, and Pwani Human Right Award among others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *