Addis Ababa, December 12, 2013 – On December 12, the Ethiopian Women Disabled National Association and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission received certificates from U.S. Ambassador Patricia Haslach for their participation in a study tour to the United States to examine legal aid for the disabled community. Invoking the celebration of World Human Rights Day on December 10, the Ambassador noted that disability rights are fundamental human rights.
Members from the two Ethiopian organizations participated in a three-week exchange program, called “Empower Partnerships for Inclusive Communities Professional Fellowship Program” (EMPOWER), funded by the Department of State. The program concluded in Washington, D.C. on November 2, 2013.
The project aims to create sustainable organizational partnerships between U.S. and international organizations, expanding the capacity of each organization to promote disability inclusive communities, and to advance disability rights as articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Ethiopian Women Disabled National Association and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission partnered with Syracuse University in New York on the project. As part of the program, experts from Syracuse University visited Ethiopia in August 2013 to visit education centers, meet with government officials and learn from other organizations active in the promotion of legal rights for the disabled community.