Angela Samson Massamu developed her project to support local small businesses that employ people with disabilities in her fellowship placement at the University of Colorado Denver – JFK Partners and the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council. 

Angela describes her leadership style as “leading by example” and she has brought this to her work in Tanzania and beyond. Angela currently works as a Programme Manager at Sense International, Tanzania, an NGO that supports individuals with deafblindness. In this role, she has learned how to liaise between key actors who influence living conditions for people with disabilities, including government officials, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and various other local, national, and international stakeholders. She manages three different projects that focus on inclusive education, inclusive livelihood, and early intervention. Her role and the versatility that it demands have equipped her with immense knowledge of how different empowerment methods can interact with one another. 

Angela holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Prior to joining SENSE International, she worked for ADD International, Develop Impact, and Pact Tanzania. In her own words, her motivation for transitioning into work with the deafblind community was that “in a world which operates mainly via either visual or hearing means, people with deafblindness (PwDB) provide a compelling case for the importance of the “Leave No One Behind” principle”. 

The title of Angela’s proposed follow-on project is Dream Access: Empowering Youth with Deafblindness (YwDB) with Self-Employability Skills. This will involve training ten deafblind youth in self-employability skills with the support of the Tanzania Association of the Deaf-Blind (TASODEB). By providing them with skills needed to establish and sustain small businesses at household and community levels, this project will reach far beyond the ten trainees to promote inclusion around them.