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An estimated one billion people in the world are living with disabilities. They are routinely denied their most basic human rights, and are cut off from education, employment, and healthcare. In Ethiopia, many live in extreme poverty.
ETHIOPIAID'S AIM: to assist adults and children living with disabilities to enable them to be active members of their communities
We have partnered with Cheshire Services, a local independent organisation staffed by Ethiopians. Their vision is to see a world where avoidable disability is prevented and where people with disabilities are treated equally in society. Cheshire helps people with a range of conditions, such as club feet, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. They offer the following services:
Cheshire has two rehabilitation centres, and their aim is simple: every person will be able to walk home. This is achieved through corrective surgery, physiotherapy and the provision of prosthetic limbs and mobility aids. The centres work to repair the shattered confidence of every child. More than 60 children are resident in the home at any one time and each one receives tuition, skills development and sports training alongside their treatment.
Mobile Outreach Service
Access to rehabilitation services is difficult for people living with disabilities in rural and isolated areas. Therefore, Cheshire has implemented a mobile outreach service, reaching 38 posts in different regions. The mobile outreach team consists of physiotherapists, orthopaedic technologists and a social worker so that immediate assessment and rehabilitation can take place. Additionally, the mobile outreach team also provides a follow up service for those children that have been discharged from the rehabilitation centres to replace worn out walking aids and devices.
Wheelchairs restore independence, dignity, and access to education and employment. An appropriate, well designed and fitted wheelchair is the first step towards inclusion and enabling physically disabled people to be productive members of society. Wheelchairs, walking aids and prosthetics are all made in the centre's workshop, which also provides vocational training to those with disabilities.
Community Bases Programmes
Cheshire Services visit families, schools and communities, providing advice on how to support those with disabilities. They deliver information on the potential impairments associated with certain conditions, such as self care, communication, social interaction and independent living. This increases community awareness so that there is a quality support network surrounding individuals with disabilities. Additionally, Cheshire provides funds to people with disabilities, in order to help them develop their own micro-businesses. Through generating their own income, people with disabilities can take control of their own lives and be more self sufficient.
- Over 35,000 children and young people provided with walking aids, skills training and life-changing surgery.
- Last year, 852 wheelchairs were given to people living with disabilities.
- The mobile outreach service ensured that over 9200 children and young people with disabilities were provided with assistive devices such as crutches, orthopedic shoes and braces during 2013.
- In 2016, nearly 15,000 children were provided with physiotherapy and rehabilitation services.
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