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Michelle Chimuka

Founder & Executive Director, Sani Foundation

Biography

Through the Sani Foundation, Michelle seeks to facilitate the full inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities into Zambian society. A cornerstone of its work is the Sunshine Zambia Project, which provides holistic, relevant training to prepare adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities for employment and independence within their community. While employment training services in Zambia typically segregate individuals with disabilities, with few trainees ever graduating to mainstream jobs with fair wages, Michelle pursues a person-centered model that assists those with disabilities in securing and maintaining jobs in the open labor market. Michelle was motivated to research international best practices for addressing the needs of the people with intellectual disabilities as a result of having a brother with Down Syndrome. Through the Sani Foundation, she also advocates for the adoption of more inclusive job market policies, while promoting to employers the commercial benefits of a diverse and inclusive labour market.