Mataafa Utumapu
Advocate Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA)

Mataafa Faatino Utumapu, a totally blind woman from birth who is making inroads for disability rights in her native Samoa is currently one of 10 Disability Leaders from across the Pacific who assist in the regional implementation of the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities through the Pacific Disability Forum. Trained by the International Disability Alliance, this team is now responsible for providing in country disability inclusive training to government ministries, NGOS, the private sector and wider community. As the office manager for Nuanua O Le Alofa, the national advocacy organisation for persons with disabilities in Samoa, Mataafa has led advocacy work to support the establishment of the Wheelchair Users Association of Samoa and the Samoa Association of the Deaf. As a female matai, church leader and Sunday school teacher, Mataafa plays an important and respected role in community development.

All photos are courtesy of speakers or their affiliations unless otherwise indicated.