Esther Kapenga Mulamba: A passion for inclusive development

Esther Kapenga Mulamba: A passion for inclusive development
10.05.2024 | 14:35

Esther Kapenga Mulamba: A passion for inclusive development

“I have a passion for development and improving the lives of women and persons with disabilities.” Words of Esther Kapenga Mulamba, UN Volunteer from Switzerland encapsulate her passion about the gender aspect of inclusion.

Esther was born with arms but no hands, upper legs but no lower legs, which means she wears prosthetic legs on both legs to walk. In February 2021, Esther joined UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States as UN Youth Volunteer in Governance and Women’s Rights, then later in May 2022, became a UN Volunteer Specialist.

“This is my first assignment that allowed me to live abroad for the past two and half years. It strengthened my resilience even more. It confirmed my passion for development, gender, and disability issues,” says Esther.

In her regular work, Esther provides technical support to ensure women’s political participation along with gender justice and disability inclusion in her daily responsibilities as a volunteer. She also carries out administrative tasks such as processing payments and monitoring of budget and financial expenditures.

For Esther, one significant achievement was taking leadership to organize the office’s annual Community of Practice on the political participation of women with disabilities in May 2023. This opportunity left a lasting impression on her. 

Yet, there are challenges.

Esther experienced moments where she had issues with her prosthetic legs, meaning that she either had to work from home or go for prosthetic maintenance or prosthetic servicing. Her supervisor and the office have been very supportive and would allow her to work from home or even remotely if she needed prosthetic servicing in Switzerland. 

Esther’s mantra in life – ‘not to worry too much and to take a leap of faith.’

She offers words of advice, “I would totally encourage more persons with disabilities to work for the UN, which encourages offices to be diverse and to create even more space for persons with disabilities.”


This article was produced with the kind support of Online Volunteer Antoinette Gyan. Find out more on how to volunteer online or engage Online Volunteers.