Despite facing social stigma, economic exclusion and everyday physical challenges, these 10 activists are fighting to make the world listen to the rights of disabled people. Here, we feature Ethiopian Yetnebersh Nigussie.

Pushing for inclusive education

Yetnebersh Nigussie, Light for the World, Ethiopia | Short video of Yetnebersh Nigussie

I’ve worked on a number of rights issues and now, with Light for the World, I advocate and promote the rights of people with disabilities, including inclusive education. Once children get the right to education, they can demand the right to employment, transportation and other basic rights.

I lost my eyesight when I was five. Being blind in a poor and rural part of Ethiopia was not without its challenges, but I also think it was my opportunity. I joined a special boarding school for the blind that was about 800km away from home, before joining a mainstream school when I was 11 years old.

This world belongs to all of us and we all deserve to be treated equally. Children with disabilities aren’t the only ones who benefit from inclusive education, everyone in the classroom does.

There are a lot of assumptions about people with disabilities; many people think about the one disability and forget about the 99 abilities a disabled person has. But in my life, I have seen change happening. It gives me hope that people understand that equality doesn’t mean sameness. I think the more challenges we have, the more innovative minds there will be to tackle them better. I believe that one day we will have a world for all. KP

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