Dear Dagnachew, I am really happy to see young Ethiopians pro-actively working in the disability area. As you well know the sector has many challenges and need patience as the Amharic saying ' Lekeberiw aredut' endayhon (translation- informing the death of the person to the one who went to his funeral). There is a lot to be done in Addis to curve the disability accessibility. My advise would be to link with Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development to see what they have done and learn from their experience. The main problem in our country as you know is 'implementation'. It's really unfortunate to see your excellent work for AUC not materialized to date. The law enforcement is very week in the country and need big advocacy work. I am happy and willing to provide any support at my level whenever you need. I hope you will take into consideration all these issues and wish you good luck !
Dear Koeke, Thank you for your interest to solve the problem related to wheelchair in Ethiopia. I have been in the disability sector for more than 10 years and I can see your concern. However, I have real concern on the following issues: 1. Importation of items is a very difficult task in Ethiopia. One is shortage of foreign currency, then you need to have permit. Have you check all these issues with Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and do you have the green light? 2. Have you assessed the existing organizations dealing with wheelchairs like Cheshire Service currently assembling wheelchairs imported by IOCC (including spare parts), Addis Guzo, ...? I have seen a lot of wheelchairs donated by charities in this country. 3. As you have seen, the infrastructure in the country is not at all accessible for wheelchair users, you can take Addis Ababa let alone the rural area. How are you going to deal with this issues? 4. Regarding the use of SMS, it's true that Ethiopia has made a great effort in expanding mobile telephone and I support the idea of ordering spare parts through this means. My concern will be affordability of the spare parts by the poor and the language barrier which should be well thought. I would be glad to get your feedback on these issues. Thank you.