People living with disabilities in Ethiopia are often side-lined in society, unable to access education and healthcare and failing to achieve their full potential.
These challenges can seem insurmountable to those who may live in rural areas or are unable to access medical assistance. But we know it is possible for these children and adults to be active members of their communities.
To create a disability-inclusive society across Ethiopia by treating orthopaedic disabilities, creating community awareness to remove stigma around disability and provide mobility aids.
Alongside this, the solution also includes access to quality education for children with Special Educational Needs, to ensure that no one gets left behind.
Before 9 year old Hana started therapy with Cheshire Services, she couldn’t walk or talk. Her future looked bleak.
My name is Masho Kidanemariam. I want to tell you my story and about the lives of blind children in Ethiopia.
Before joining Cheshire’s project Solomon’s health was poor. Now he and his mother are able to support themselves.
Cheshire Services is working towards a future where all children living with a disability in Ethiopia can access healthcare, education and live with dignity. Their Menagesha Rehabilitation Centre in Oromia region is their flagship site, providing both resident children and outpatients with corrective surgery, physiotherapy and custom-fitted prosthetic limbs and mobility aids. For children living in more remote areas, Cheshire Services run a mobile outreach service. Through their Sustainable Livelihoods Project, they support families with a parent or child living with a disability with agricultural and basic business training, so they are able to support themselves. They also run wider gender and disability awareness training within communities, bringing about better social inclusion, especially for mothers of children with disabilities.
NaPAN’s goal is to see an Ethiopia free from podoconiosis (podo). Podo is a debilitating condition caused by barefoot exposure to irritant minerals in the soil, resulting in painful swelling of the feet and legs. It afflicts an estimated 1 million people living in the agricultural regions of Ethiopia, leaving them struggling to walk, work or have a normal life. NaPAN work in communities, educating people on prevention, treatment and self-care, so that people living with the impact of podoconiosis can manage their symptoms, continue their education, return to work, and participate in their communities once again with dignity and without shame. They also raise awareness of prevention, spreading the message of what people can do to help eradicate podoconiosis altogether.
In 2021, your donations and the local partners made a real difference to families in Ethiopian communities:
people were provided with prosthetics and mobility aids.
locally-made rough rider wheelchairs were distributed free of charge.
people afflicted with podo were helped to manage their symptoms and participate in their communities.
people across 150 disabled households received training and seed funding to set up small businesses.
Adolescent girls are often subjected to harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, gender-based violence and child marriage.
Around 60,000 children live on the streets of Addis Ababa. More than half have no access to shelter, adequate food, or an education.
Ethiopia has over four million people over the age of 60. Many of these people have no access to a state pension and are unable to save for their old age.