Samuel Odawo- Mombasa, Kenya

Samuel Odawo spent his Professional Fellowship at the University of Rochester Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities.

“I have realized that if one is committed to a given vision, then the results are definitely going to be realized. If that commitment is paired with partnership, that is partnering with all the stakeholders that have got an interest in the matter, the results will be even better. For ultimate success you need commitment, partnerships, and resources and that is something that I take to my country. I am committed to my vision and I partner with the right stakeholders and I will find a way to mobilize and allocate the right resources.”

Samuel Ochieng Odawo holds a strong belief in the equality of all people, with and without disabilities. This conviction, in conjunction with his own experiences as a blind professional in Kenya, led him to apply for the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment.

Samuel is a self-employed consultant whose primary roles involve providing services to people with disabilities and special education needs. He has conducted extensive research in the disability field, and mentors young people with disabilities through motivational talks and guidance, both in person and through social media platforms.

Samuel brings with him a wealth of experience garnered from past work experience in organizations such as SOS Children’s Villages and CARE International Kenya. He received a master’s degree in the management of special education in developing countries from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and very much enjoyed this international experience and perspective.

Samuel intends to use his fellowship to establish an employment center for people with disabilities that will offer services both to employees with disabilities and their potential employers. The first of these centers will be in Nairobi, and from this pilot program, he hopes to replicate others like it in various regions throughout Kenya.