Ethiopia: November 2013 Employment Support Project for Disabled People.

In November 2013 Disability Aid Abroad held a disability employment support seminar and workshop for thirty trade union representatives and officials from the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) in the regional city of Adama. The seminar was run in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The purpose of the seminar was to develop a trade union programme to support disabled people in accessing employment based on the ‘Disability Champions’ model designed by the UK’s Trade Union Congress. The Ethiopian initiative follows on from successful trade union projects in Tanzania and Uganda.

Mwanza MSTC Aug 2012 060

Tanzania: 2012


Twenty disabled women completed the latest tailoring course run by the Mwanza Sewing and Tailoring Centre and received refurbished singer sewing machines and a start-up grant to help establish micro enterprise units in the Mwanza region of Tanzania. This is one of the most successful of Disability Aid Abroad’s programmes for disabled people in the sub Saharan region.

The MSTC project, to train 80 disabled women per year in clothing manufacturing, was set up in partnership with the Small Industry Development Organisation of Tanzania (SIDO). The project directly addresses the issue of poverty, illness and the degradation of disabled women by empowering them financially by providing them with machinery, training, materials, and initial set up costs in a clothing micro enterprise units. The project provides training and equal employment opportunities for disabled women, as well as capacity building and community development programmes. The ensuing financial independence enables access to medical and education facilities for the women and their families. An additional feature of the project is that business and entrepreneurial skills training is also provided to the disabled women. Many of the women trained to date have set up their own successful business projects.

In 2013 Disability Aid Abroad plans to begin food processing training as an additional source of income generation for disabled women in the greater Lake Victoria region.

Uganda: 2013


The Akwenyutu HIV/Aids group was started in 2005 after the Lords Resistance Army incursion into the Teso region of Northern Uganda. Many of the women were kidnapped by the LRA and held as ‘war brides’. The stories they tell are horrific:

The Akwenyutu HIV/Aids group was started in 2005 after the Lords Resistance Army incursion into the Teso region of Northern Uganda. Many of the women were kidnapped by the LRA and held as ‘war brides’. The stories they tell are horrific:

Akello Salome was 12 years of age and walking to school with her friends when she was abducted by the LRA. While in captivity she was raped and used by several rebels. A year  later she managed to escape during a gun battle but she was seven months pregnant and had HIV/Aids. When her parents heard of her plight they abandoned her claiming they could not take support her because of her condition. The Akwenyutu HIV/Aids group now supports Akello. She sells fish in the local market and makes less than 90 pence per day. There are many such stories in the refugee camps in NE Uganda  and Disability Aid Abroad has committed to begin Food Processing and Tailoring training for the disabled women in the region. A pilot programme for 20 disabled women will start in January 2013.

Tanzania: 2011 Mehayo Centre for Disabled Young People:

In 2011 Disability Aid Abroad employed a local doctor to attend Mehayo Center 2 days per week helping to provide medical treatment for 60 disabled children living in the centre.

The MEHAYO Center is a Tanzanian charity established with the aim of helping Disabled Children. Many of the children have been abandoned at birth at the gates of the centre because they were disabled. The Mehayo Centre is run by an amazing woman called Linda Ngido, a former teacher who has dedicated her life to helping disabled children and young people. The social stigma associated with being disabled frequently means that disabled children are denied basic appropriate medical treatment. In a recent visit to the centre we were told of many instances where children were denied medical treatment because they were disabled.

In 2012 we are developing a ‘special needs’ training support programme for teachers in the centre.

Disabled Women training in sewing Musoma Tanzania: Disability Aid Abroad

2012- Disability Equality Awareness Training: 

The Government of Tanzania has developed a key piece of legislation The Person with Disabilities Act 2010 which, when fully implemented, will have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities living and working in Tanzania.

Disability Equality has risen rapidly on the international agenda of Trade Unions and Disability Organisations. Disability Aid Abroad, and the Tanzanian Union of industrial and Commercial Operatives (TUICO )has recognised the importance of training on disability matters and the sharing of key information in formulating disability employment support programmes in the workplace.

2012 – UN Convention on Rights of Persons with a Disability:

This training is an integral part of a comprehensive  employment support program for workers with disabilities in Tanzania in co-operation with the Tanzanian trade union TUICO, and international unions AFL-CIO, TUC, and individual Irish unions NIPSA, INTO, PSEU, Impact and UTU.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability(2006) has provided many safeguards in relation to the provision of health, education and employments rights mto disabled people. However in many cases these rights, although enshrined in legislation, are rarely implemented. In 2011

Disability Aid Abroad gave a number of empowerment and capacity building workshops to disabled peoples organisations in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.

2012 – Tanzanian Employment Support Programme:

Chairperson of Disability Aid Abroad, John Coghlan and General Secretary of Tanzanian Union of Industrial and Commercial Operatives, Boniface Nkakatisi in June 2010 announced the launch of an employment support programme for disabled people in Tanzania. The two year pilot project, funded by international trade unions seeks to strengthen the participation of Tanzanian people with disabilities in employment. The employment of people with disabilities is an important step towards ending ignorance, stigma, discrimination, and building a truly inclusive society in which all members are able to participate fully. The programme has placed over 40 people with disabilities in supported employment and trained 300 trade union officials, trade union representatives and disability organizations in disability equality, employment support and workplace disability adaptation training.


1 thought on “Projects

  1. Katelyn Lowery

    I hope this message finds you well. I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served as a Health Education Volunteer in Tanzania from 2008-2010. I worked on an HIV/AIDS TOT workshop along with another PCV at Mehayo Orphanage during my service. I was very excited to see this posting!
    I am currently a student at Loma Linda University, MPH Global Health candidate. I plan on graduating from the program December 2012. I graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in Elementary Education and specilized in Special Education. I am inquiring about job opportunities with Disability Aid Abroad. This sounds like a wonderful organization as well as a perfect opportunity to merge my passion for working with people with disabilities along with my MPH in Global Health. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Katelyn Lowery


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