WFDB elects its new Board during General Assembly in Kenya

General Assembly participants

WFDB held its 6th General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya on the 24-25 October 2022. More than 30 delegates with deafblindness were present from around the world, either as delegates or observers. 26 of them represented a national deafblind organisation, with a right to vote.

General Assembly participants
General Assembly participants
The meeting was moderated by Klas Nelfelt (Sweden), WFDB’s former Vice-President.
The election process was led by Velichka Draganova (Bulgaria) as president of the election committee.
One of the most important outcomes was the election results, which are listed below:

President: Sanja Tarczay (Croatia)

Vice-President: Samuel Valencia (Colombia)

Executive Council Members:

  • Ezekiel Kumwenda (Malawi)
  • Riku Virtanen (Finland)
  • Christopher Woodfill (USA)


Regional Representatives

Two women and two men are standing and smiling to the camera
From left to right, Sanja Tarczay (New President), Samuel Valencia (New Vice President), Klas Nelfelt (Former Vice President), Velichka Draganova (Former President of the Election Committee) & Geir Jensen (Former President)
  • Africa: Juliet Wabukawo (Uganda)
  • Asia: Zamir Dhale (India)
  • Europe: Velichka Draganova (Bulgaria)
  • Latin America: Melba Benjamin (Dominican Republic)
  • The Pacific: Amanda Stevens (New Zealand)
  • North America: Not announced.


  • Klas Nelfelt (Sweden)
  • Francisco Trigueros (Spain)

Chairperson of the Election Committee: David Shaba (Tanzania)

Members of the Election Committee:

  • Roger Galo (Honduras)
  • Norah Gonzales (Bolivia)
A woman is handed an object my a man
Geir Jensen awards the WFDB medal of merit to Sonnia Margarita


The newly elected President, Sanja Tarczay (Croatia) thanked Geir Jensen (Norway) publicly for his work as President during 8 years, and hopes to continue counting on his advice and experience.

Moreover, Sonnia Margarita (Ecuador) was awarded both the medal of merit for outstanding and valuable contributions on behalf of the WFDB, as well as honorary membership, in recognition of the dedication and support given to the organization and people with deafblindness.

Irene McMinn (Australia) was also awarded both the medal of merit, and honorary membership. Since she was not present during the meeting, she will receive it at a later stage.

Finally, the red and white cane was officially recognised and approved as WFDB’s universal symbol for deafblindness, as proposed in 2018 by Swedesh delegates.

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