Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Solomon’s story

Reading time: 2 min

32 year old Solomon has multiple disabilities and lives at home with his mother, Atsede.

His clean and carefully decorated home is located down a narrow side street of a busy town in Amhara.  Solomon’s mobility issues mean he cannot get around on his own and his mother has to carry him.  Every day he sits outside the house where he enjoys playing with stones and greeting passers-by with a high five.

With support from our partner Cheshire Services, Atsede now has the means to generate an income so that she can better look after Solomon.

The five sheep that they have been given will be fattened to breed from or to sell at market.  Some of the money earned Atsede intends to save, with the rest reinvested in purchasing more sheep.

For Solomon and his family, acceptance in the community has been difficult.  In Ethiopia living with a physical disability means facing discrimination, isolation and prejudice.   Life is hard, employment difficult to find and there is little access to support.  For individuals like Solomon who live with multiple disabilities, life is even tougher and the future uncertain.

Before joining Cheshire’s project Solomon’s health was poor.  Now his wellbeing has improved and the whole household is benefiting from better food, being able to afford medicine and acceptance in the community.

Cheshire’s team are helping Solomon and his family to address his mobility needs.  Their house it too narrow for a wheelchair and they live in an area with large boulders littering the streets.  Even people who are able bodied find the terrain difficult.  The local government plan to repave the street but in the meantime, the family will work with Cheshire to plan around this.

For the disabled households participating in this project the experience has been truly life changing.  The sense of pride at being able to generate their own income, having a sense of purpose and improved community acceptance means the world.

Help us support more people like Solomon and Atsede to overcome their challenges and build a rewarding life.

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