Nearly 10 years ago, the World Health Organization estimated that there were 15 million people in Ethiopia with disabilities, representing close to 20 percent of the population.
And according to the country’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, 95 percent of those lived in poverty — the vast majority in rural areas, where basic services are limited and the chances of accessing rehabilitative or support services are remote.
In the past decade, sadly the situation has only gotten worse, not better.
That’s why at Bread and Water for Africa, we are partnering with a non-profit organization, joni&friends, to ship 240 wheelchairs, along with pairs of crutches, canes, walkers, and more, to our longtime partner in Ethiopia, Woldia University, in the Amhara region of the country.
As reported by university, which operates a College of Health which consists of a medical laboratory, and courses in public health and nursing, for the recipients of the wheelchairs and other items, will enrich their lives by making everyday activities simpler, “and eventually a lot more fun,” while also easing the burden of their family members assisting them as they embark on an independent life.
The primary beneficiaries will be disabled children, young and older disabled people. These individuals will be trained how to use the items by a physiotherapist.