Fasil Ayele is the Executive Director at Cheshire Services Ethiopia. Read our interview with him to find out more about their work and his experience there.
How long have you worked at Cheshire Services?
I have been working for Cheshire Ethiopia since April 1, 1996, 25 years this year!
Why did you start working at Cheshire Services?
I decided to work for Cheshire Ethiopia because of the huge difference the organisation makes in the life of children and youth with disabilities. My plan was to work for Cheshire Ethiopia at least for two years. However, I was very much convinced with the care, support, passion and commitment of everyone at Cheshire… what they were doing, and continue to do, to enhance the social functioning of people with disabilities and support for families of children with disabilities.
What do Cheshire Services Ethiopia do?
Our services include:
- Residential rehabilitation for children recovering from surgery
- Inclusive education for children with learning disabilities
- Specialist physiotherapy clinics for young children and training for their carers’ in basic techniques
- Providing families with the support, tools and training they need to earn an income and support themselves
- Manufacture of rough rider wheelchairs, mobility aids and prosthetics
- Outreach clinics to reach rural communities
- Championing of disability rights
We believe that all children deserve the chance to fulfil their potential. Our programmes enable children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, burn contracture, amputations, paralysis and club foot, to have hope for their future. But our work does not stop at rehabilitation, mobility aids and prosthetics. Since 2018, we have expanded to help disabled households establish livelihoods. Our programmes are not limited to towns. They are far reaching and aim to uplift those in poverty. We want children with disabilities to live with dignity, attend school and eventually earn an income and have a meaningful role in their community.
What changes would you like to see in 10 years’ time?
I would like to see an advancement of disability inclusive society in Ethiopia and to be an institution of centre of excellence in standard rehabilitation in Ethiopia.
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