Ethiopia Disability Initiative
Mobility Without Barriers Foundation recognizes that the promise of equal
opportunity, literacy, poverty reduction and basic human rights begins
with every child having the opportunity to receive an education.
For children in Ethiopia who are unable to walk, the distance between
home and school is insurmountable. Regardless of how bright or motivated
these children may be, the promise that an education could offer remains
largely unrealized. For these children, having an assisted mobility device
that is safe, effective and durable represents the difference between
the opportunity to pursue an education or continuing to be isolated and
Mobility Cycle Program
Thousands of children who have been previously excluded from opportunities
to attend school due to impaired mobility are now being screened and
registered for enrollment in school. These children will be provided
with specialized services and training for operation of the Ethiopia
Mobility Cycles prior to beginning their daily rides to school, an average
of two kilometers each way.
Specialized Disability Friendly Horse-drawn Cart Program
In order to rapidly scale up to reach meaningful numbers of underserved
and chronically isolated children, MWBF has designed and built specialized
horse-drawn carts. These disability friendly carts transport children
with disabilities to and from school in greater numbers, averaging as
many as 18 children per cart each day. This also extends the parameters
for including children with more extensive disabilities, as well as
children with multiple disabilities.
Training for Supplemental Income-Generating Projects
Mobility Cycle – Fabrication of Components, Service and
Children and Youth in MWBF programs are being trained in simple mechanical
and business skills, in order to meet the new demand for neighborhood
service and repair shops for these thousands of mobility cycles coming
Disability Friendly Horse-Drawn Cart – Fabrication, Service
The training program for the Horse-Drawn Cart directly parallels the
training in mechanical and business skills outlined above.
Beekeeping and Honey Production
Vulnerable children and youth, with highest priority for those with
disabilities, are learning the vocation of beekeeping, honey production
and processing to provide supplemental income. This will relieve some
of the financial pressures that frequently lead to early termination
of a child’s education.