People with disabilities in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. For people living with a disability, the living conditions are particularly hard. Since there is no governmental support, they are on their own or rely on the help of their families.

The supply gap for mobility aids, especially wheelchairs, is huge. Those affected by disability can usually not afford medical or therapeutic measures.

This of course has a negative impact on the severity of the disability and also reduces the chances of reintegration. Even in the areas of training and sports for people with disabilities, only few opportunities or offers exist.

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Wheelchair workshop

The Addis Guzo wheelchair workshop in Addis Ababa is unique in Ethiopia.

Every year we deliver around 600 wheelchairs to people with disabilities.

Through our collection campaigns in Switzerland, we receive a large selection of models and can thus respond to the individual needs of our clients.

Thanks to a comprehensive repair service, we guarantee a long-term use of the delivered mobility aids.

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Our workshop team consists of 6 male and 1 female mechanic.

Our employees received a one-year basic training in wheelchair technology.

Since then they have passed on their knowledge and deepened it through further education (e.g. ICRC seminar according to WHO standard) or in exchange with specialists from Switzerland.

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Counseling and supply

With the acquired competences, the workshop technicians are able to undergo comprehensive mobility aid evaluations & clarifications.

They are able to rebuild wheelchairs and adapt them to the needs of our customers.

It is also important to us to advise our clients on the handling, use and maintenance of their mobility aid.

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Spare parts & repair service

Of great importance is the long-term use of wheelchairs and other mobility aids for people with disabilities.

Therefore, our workshop is well stocked with the necessary tools and spare parts.

About 3000 repairs are carried out by our team annually. This is unique in Ethiopia. The need for this service is correspondingly high.

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Addis Guzo’s center for people with disabilities is based in the capital Addis Ababa.

Many of our clients live in the metropolis with over 7 million inhabitants (officially about 4 million).

Within a radius of some 100 km, we also serve 5 other cities in the Oromo region. There Addis Guzo has small outstation workshops.

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Collecting mobility aids

Thanks to the support of the Signum Vitae and rollaid Associations.

The majority of the material is donated by aid centers of the Swiss National Insurance IV. Further suppliers are specialist shops in the field of rehabilitation technology, institutions for the elderly and people with disabilities as well as many private individuals.

We thank all of you very much.

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Goals and Social Integration

The main goal of our project and our wheelchair workshop is to provide access to mobility for as many people in need of wheelchairs and other mobility aids as possible.

For those affected, access to mobility means:

  • Improving independent mobility
  • Social integration
  • Participation in school, education and work
  • Relief of family members
  • Prevention of physical consequential damage
  • Increasing the overall quality of life

RES - Rehabilitation, Economic Empowerment & Sports

With the project RES, Addis Guzo offers people with disabilities in Ethiopia new perspectives in different areas of life.

The main focuses of our activities are:

  • Physical therapy
  • Psychosocial counseling
  • Training in certain crafts
  • Establishment and support of micro-business cooperatives
  • Health promoting measures
  • Sports

In this way, we strengthen the healthy resources of those affected, improve their mental and physical well-being and accompany the people with a disability to a self-determined, independent and fulfilling lives.

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Rehabilitation Daycare Center

The heart of our rehabilitation center is our daycare for families with disabled children. Everyday activities include physiotherapy for the children.

At the same time, the relatives learn how to involve their children in daily activities, which physical exercises are good for them, how to deal with stigma and other social problems.

Four times a week, the families meet in our rehabilitation center.

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For children, adolescents and adults we carry out individual physiotherapeutic treatments.

Our clients have spread the word about the high quality of our physiotherapy and the good results the therapy has shown in all our customers. Because of the high demand, we are planning to expand these activities.

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Interdisciplinary cooperation

Interdisciplinary cooperation is crucial and very important to us. At Addis Guzo physiotherapy and social service workers work together closely to ensure the best service for our clients.

In the field of auxiliary care, our teams at the rehabilitation center and the wheelchair technology workshop are in regular exchange, which is mutually beneficial. This way, our mobility aids can be better adapted to the needs of the clients.

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Economic Empowerment

In the field of education, we have in recent years set up and established various micro-business enterprises.

The basis of the economic empowerment program is the training of manual skills and certain crafts. In order for a group to actually achieve economic independence, the following skills are essential.

These include:

  • Basic business management skills
  • Development of suitable group structures
  • Setting up their own workshop
  • Making market connections
  • Purchase of suitable and sustainable materials
  • Expanding product range
  • Accounting skills
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Micro-business enterprises

So far, we have trained over 80 people with disabilities. Seven out of eight micro-business groups have become economically independent. Addis Guzo continues to accompany and advise the different groups on the various topics mentioned above. In the following occupations and activities training was given in:

  • Candle production
  • Doll workshop
  • Tailor workshop
  • Pottery
  • Production of energy saving stoves
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Our female and male wheelchair basketball players train four times a week on our sports field with great motivation, effort and joy. Emotions break out, muscles tighten, boundaries are overcome and social conflicts are dealt with. The trainings are led by two educated sports coaches.

By being physically active the physical conditions of those affected are strengthened. Equally high is the impact on self-esteem, social skills and the positive effect of their inclusion in society.