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Message from the Ambassador of the Embassy of Finland

The government of Finland has been promoting Human Rights in all its development cooperation policies across the world. Human Rights are indivisible and interdependent and one can’t work for the realization of a certain right without working towards the realization of the whole spectrum of human rights.


People with disabilities should get equal opportunity and full participation in the development of their country. Ensuring access to people with disabilities in education is one of the basic human rights enshrined in the Universal declaration of Human Rights that Finland and Ethiopia have ratified.

Realizing the gap in this country, Finland has contributed during the last four years on Special Needs Education and improving quality of education through General Education Quality Improvement Programme (GEQUIP). In addition to this, social and economic empowerment of people with disabilities has been supported through the Local Cooperation Fund Department of the Embassy of Finland as well as various Finland based disability organizations.

After Finland´s parliamentary election in 2011 we have new Government in place and it means that Finland has also a new Development Policy for the coming years. The new development policy is based on human rights and has four priority areas: 1.democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights; 2. an inclusive green economy that promotes employment; 3.Sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection; and 4.Human development.

In all our work we give emphasis to three issues: promotion of gender equality, climate sustainability and Equity. 

The partnership of the Embassy of Finland and Help for Persons with Disabilities Organization (HPDO) started in 2007 and continued until 2012. The Finnish contributions to people with disabilities through partnership with HPDO are stated as follows:

·   Enabled more than 350 children with disabilities to get access to regular school system

·135 regular teachers and education experts received capacity building intervention on special needs / inclusive education and pedagogically sound methods to teach children with disabilities using short term

·        218 Children and adults with disabilities received different assistive devices and appliances such as wheelchair, crutch, white cane, hearing aid etc. aimed at facilitating their mobility to access regular services and opportunities.

·  215 children and adults with disabilities enjoyed referral service for the rehabilitation of their physical and mental capacity that enabled them to be engaged in schooling and self help employment.

·  287 persons with disabilities succeeded in taking part in income generating activities through receiving startup capital and establishing four Saving and Credit societies of DPOs

·        80 households having children with disabilities have been receiving home based rehabilitation services

·        More than 7000 members of the local communities were made aware of the issue of disability using public gatherings and school-based awareness raising programs.

    A resource center has been established in Debrebirhantown to enhance the educational empowerment of children with disabilities

The Embassy of Finland looks forward for betterment of rights of people with disabilities to engage in the social, economic and political development of Ethiopia.

Leo Olasvirta


Help for Persons with Disabilities-Organization/HPD-O

P.O.BOX 34711 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Phone: 25111-123-13-67



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