Driven by 500 youth volunteers with disabilities, Uwezo Youth Empowerment is a nonprofit established to mobilize and build the capacities of children and youth with disabilities to actively participate in society, live independently and enjoy a dignified life.
Why Their Work Matters: In Rwanda, disability is still socially considered a curse or a source of misfortune. Children with disabilities are rarely provided primary health care, rehabilitation, nutrition, and education. UWEZO is Rwanda’s only organization focused on the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in society and capacitates them to self-advocate and hold the government and other stakeholders accountable on matters concerning them.
- UWEZO's impact is driven by 500 youth volunteers with disabilities who serve as mentors and advocates for disabled children - providing weekly visits to their homes and schools.
- Uwezo has directly worked with 5,000+ children and youth with disabilities across 12 districts in Kigali.
- In addition to advocacy and outreach programs, UWEZO runs a Center for Independent Living & Assistive Technology that provides skills training and work readiness. Over 250 youth with disabilities have secured permanent employment through their programs.
Bahati Satir Omar
Bahati Satir Omar is a visually impaired Rwandan visionary working with children and youth with disabilities and their families. The aim of his work is to amplify their voices for meaningful inclusion, and respect for their rights, so they can live a dignified and empowered life and contribute to shaping their future.
Bahati has over 15 years of professional experience in Rwanda’s disability sector. Bahati serves as a leader in advocacy for people with disabilities and diverse partners in the disability movement. Rooted in his passion for social change, Bahati founded Uwezo in 2013.
As a champion for disabled persons and their families, Bhati was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders 2016. In the same year, he was featured in The Guardian as one of the 10 activists changing the lives of disabled people worldwide. In 2022, he joined Segal Family Foundation’s African Visionary Fellowship.
In addition, Bahati is an experienced educator on matters concerning disability equality & inclusion in different spheres of human development. He also mentors young professionals with disabilities to help them effectively overcome adversities.