Creating a safe and equitable living and learning environment for children with disabilities in Ethiopia

Partner organisation: Berhan Lehetsanat

Project location: Oromiya Regional state, Bishoftu Town

This project is a three-year intervention for creating a safe and equitable living and learning environment for children with disabilities in Bishoftu and Dukem towns. Berhan Lehetsanat is responsible for implementation, with Interpedia Finland, both child rights organizations with a long experience of working with CwDs.

In Ethiopia disability is still a source of social and economic exclusion. Since 2008, Berhan Lehetsanat and Interpedia have initiated disability programs in 12 kebeles of Bishoftu, directly reaching over 800 CwDs, enabling over 450 CwDs to access rehabilitation, over 660 CwDs to access inclusive/special education, enhancing capacity of government and community structures to engage in disability, creating access to skills trainings, constructing a skills training center, enhancing income of over 400 families of CwDs, enhancing accessibility of schools and increasing community awareness. This project will especially address the last remaining two kebeles of Bishoftu town and three kebeles of Dukem and create a fully functional referral linkage for CwDs.

The direct beneficiaries are over 200 CwDs and their parents & 60 CwDs in skills training, as well as schools, government representatives and community structures. The project will strive to enhance the overall wellbeing and integration of CwDs and their families via improved access to disability prevention and rehabilitation services; to enhance access to quality and inclusive education for CwDs; improved access to inclusive vocational and skills trainings & to increase the commitment and actions of duty bearers and community-based structures in coordinating and mainstreaming disability issues.

The project’s main strategy is Community Based Rehabilitation, along with rehabilitation, livelihood & skills trainings, awareness raising and building capacities of stakeholders. The project applies the rights based approach, building capacities of CwDs and families as rights-holders, also supporting capacity of duty bearers to ensure structures, resources and mecha¬nisms for accountability are in place. The project will also contribute to reduction of inequality, gender equality as well as climate sustainability.