Yetnebersh Nigussie on partnerships "Partnerships are about thinking beyond ourselves. When we come into this world, we are in partnership with nature. I am in partnership with my teachers for my education. I am in partnership with my husband, for the family life that I lead. Goal 17 of the SDGs is about partnership. There are more than one billion people on this planet with disabilities – imagine the potential if we all work together."

Yetnebersh Nigussie on Ethiopia "We are in a period of rigorous economic, political and social reform. We enjoy one of the fastest economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. I am serving the Prime Minister as Deputy Commissioner for National Peace and Reconciliation, which is key in ensuring Ethiopia continues to enjoy unity and prosperity. Regardless of my disability, I’m taking assignments from the government and from the people to make Ethiopia a better country for all. My role is also part of the move that the Ethiopian government is making to bring women into power. Half of our cabinet are now women, and we have the first female President [Sahle-Work Zewde, who took office in October 2018] in history. I’m so happy to be a part of making Ethiopia a better, more inclusive and prosperous country."

disabilities in regular economic empowerment programs? It’s high time to make the theory of inclusion a reality. Every recognition I have received in my career to date comes with its own value. However, I received the Right Livelihood Award* in 2017. It’s a prestigious award that has been received by the likes of Desmond Tutu and there have been no other recipients related to the rights of people with disabilities. It helps take the issue of disability and development to the next level. I should also mention the Spirit of Helen Keller Award [see]. Helen Keller still inspires many people and she was my childhood role model. We are all responsible for ensuring the next

generation gets a better world. I dream that one day, inclusion is the norm; that no one is left behind. This is why I am working with Light for the World. We work to tackle the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from being included.

* The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honor and support courageous people and organizations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems. It has become widely known as the Alternative Nobel Prize and there are now 174 Laureates from 70 countries.

World Report on Disability Disability disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. There is a higher disability prevalence in lower-income countries than in higher income countries. People from the poorest wealth quintile, women, and older people have a higher prevalence of disability. People who have a low income, are out of work, or have low educational qualifications are at an increased risk of disability.

Her Abilities Award Light for the World celebrates inspiring women with disabilities from around the globe via its Her Abilities Award – the first global award honoring the achievements of women with disabilities. The Award was launched by Yetnebersh Nigussie to celebrate women with disabilities who achieve greatness in their life or field of work. See

OFID and Light for the World Light for the World is working toward eliminating trachoma in Ethiopia. A new phase in the organization’s interventions – supported by an OFID grant of US$500,000 – will see the construction and rehabilitation of water points and latrines in 50 schools to promote better hygiene practices. See the previous issue of the OFID Quarterly for more


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