Mwanasha’s Journey to Kenya

8 March 2023

Mwanasha is a young woman with deafblindness from Tanzania. Her enormous sense of ambition and dedication to advocacy has led to some incredible achievements.

Learning at secondary school was tough for Mwanasha as her teachers did not know sign language. Mwanasha left school determined to establish a career for herself. With investment, training and a new pair of glasses from Sense International Tanzania, Mwanasha was ready to set up her own business.

Today, her soap and detergent enterprise is a success and Mwanasha is an independent businesswoman.

Since August 2022, Mwanasha has acted as Chairperson for the Youth Tanzania Association for the Deafblind. Recognising her passion for advocacy, Sense International Tanzania funded Mwanasha to attend the World Federation of Deafblindness Conference in Nairobi in November 2022.

This was the first time Mwanasha had ever left Tanzania.

As she explains:

“It was great to discuss how we can address common challenges faced by people with deafblindness. We spoke about working to identify children with deafblindness early in their life, and also on how schools can better support children with deafblindness.

I was very glad for the opportunity to attend the conference; I was incredibly proud to be the only participant from Tanzania. It blew my mind to meet people with such similar experiences to myself. I felt such a strong sense of community.

I met so many different people and I felt incredibly proud to be the only participant from Tanzania. As a woman I can be subject to dual discrimination where I am facing prejudice for my disability and gender. Often within the community women are excluded, this is even more likely if you are a woman with a disability. As a mother myself I want to be confident and successful, so my daughter has someone to look up to.”

The conference also involved electing the committee of the World Federation of Deafblindness. Mwanasha had the confidence to stand for a position. Although she wasn’t successful this time, she feels motivated to attend more conferences and stand for election again.

Mwanasha is now looking to start learning English and how to use a computer. She knows that these skills would make participating in international conferences much easier.

Across Sense International, we are committed to tackling gender inequalities which are exacerbated for women with deafblindness.