Situation of people
with disabilities in Ethiopia

For people with disabilities, living conditions in Ethiopia are harsh.

The supply gap for aids, especially wheelchairs, is large. Medical and therapeutic care is inadequate. Since there is hardly any government support possible, most of those affected have to provide for themselves or depend on their families for help and therefore often live at subsistence level. This has a negative impact on their state of health, but also on their social integration, recognition and participation in society. In addition, access to school, training or work is severely limited, which decisively restricts their chances of leading a self-determined and dignified life.

Children with disabilities are particularly hard hit. Here, too, adequate state support for them and their families is currently not possible. The need for aids for children is even greater than that for adults, pediatric expertise is scarce, and waiting times for necessary operations are long. Special education kindergartens, day care centers and schools are rare or non-existent.

Necessary medications, high-calorie infant formula, and care products are unavailable or/and prohibitively expensive. Parents or caregivers with little or no income are essentially left to their own devices in finding solutions to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter, as well as dealing with their burning questions and concerns about how best to help their children. The problem is exacerbated by the enormous social stigma they face. Plagued by feelings of guilt and shame, many hide their children at home and therefore lead lives of great poverty and social isolation. The question of how far an organization like Addis Guzo can help, given the enormous and all-encompassing challenges facing a country like Ethiopia, is difficult and simple at the same time: it is always about that one person, that one child, that one needy family that can be supported and whose life can be decisively changed. For that one person or that one family, Addis Guzos’ commitment means the world. And so it is for Addis Guzo.