People living with disabilities in Ethiopia are often sidelined 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 avoid 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 orthopedic 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.
Before joining Cheshire’s project Solomon’s health was poor. Now he and his mother are able to support themselves.
Cheshire Services aims to bring about a disability-inclusive society across
Ethiopia. They do this through their main activities: treating orthopedic disabilities among children and youth, creating community awareness to remove the stigma associated with disability, and provision of mobility aids and rough rider wheelchairs. Their Menagesha Rehabilitation Centre 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 where a team of physiotherapists, orthopaedic technologists and a social worker can assess, treat and follow-up both new and old patients.
In 2018, Ethiopiaid’s donors and local partners made a real difference to families in local Ethiopian communities:
disabled people are supported in the community
people received prosthetic limbs and mobility aids
feasibility study for visual impairment screening in schools using a mobile phone app
visually impaired students received talking textbooks
government and community leaders could attend training on disability rights and fair opportunities
off-road wheelchairs are produced every month
disabled young people and mothers of disabled children were supported with livelihood training
pairs of special orthopaedic shoes were distributed
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.