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CBM helps strengthen OPDs in Ethiopia

Stories | November 29, 2021

Across Ethiopia, around 7.8 million people live with some form of disability – that’s 9.3 per cent of the country’s total population. Addressing disability issues requires moving beyond a charity based model – a model that views people with disabilities as helpless and in need of saving – towards a human rights-based approach that views people with disabilities as people “with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.”

Over the past three years, CBM Australia has worked to improve the quality of lives of people with disabilities in Ethiopia by partnering with the Federation of the Ethiopian Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FEAPD) to build organisational capacity so that they can be the voice of the disability movement in Ethiopia, and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities long into the future.

“CBM is our backbone. We are always grateful about CBM. They support us technically, not only financially. Their door is always open for us. When we go and knock, their door is always open to support us,” – Semret, Project Coordinator at FEAPD.

FEAPD and OPD Impact

A recent evaluation showed how the project is building and strengthening the network of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) across Ethiopia and increasing the awareness of disability inclusive development within the government and society. The impact on the FEAPD and its OPD members, including increased sustainability, enhanced understanding of disability rights, and greater organisational capacity and visibility, is enabling them to have a stronger and more stable voice on the rights of and issues faced by people with disabilities across Ethiopia, leading to greater opportunities for people with disabilities.

“If you work alone, you will not be effective, especially in the disability movement. There are a lot of barriers in Ethiopia for a person with disabilities or member DPO or the Federation,” – Semret, Project Coordinator at FEAPD.

Ethiopia is now facing rising political disruption. Ensuring that people with disabilities are not forgotten during crises – whether this is Covid-19 or civil unrest – is an important role of OPDs.

Learn more about how CBM is helping strengthen OPDs in Ethiopia and its impact and value for money

Listen to the CBM Australia team’s recent interview with Semret (Project Coordinator at FEAPD) and Tigist (Program Officer for CBM Ethiopia) to hear more about the project’s approach and impact.


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