Motivation Australia is currently partnering with the Women with Disabilities and Development Association of Tigray (WDDAT). WDDAT empowers their members through practical initiatives and by advocating for policy change. WDDAT works with over 500 women, as well as members who are parents of children with disabilities.
People from the mountainous northern province of Tigray in Ethiopia, are known for their tenacity and resilience. Although they have experienced challenges from a legacy of war, poor health, education and social services, they have demonstrated a capacity to turn small opportunities into life-changing situations.
A recent visit by Helen Pitt and Kerry Thomas (part of Motivation Australia’s Tigray team) provided an opportunity to visit rural branches and carry out home visits with some of WDDAT’s members. This gave the team a fantastic opportunity to meet and listen to the stories of the lived experience of women with a disability in Tigray. One participant noted: “We can be strong and independent if given an opportunity… like the micro-credit loan, and help in accessing services and mobility equipment”.
Along with the rural and home visits, a four day workshop was facilitated to enable staff and member representatives to reflect on progress, share experience and plan for the future of WDDAT. The workshop utilised a participatory ‘action-learning, action-planning’ approach that employed a range of strategies to ensure participants of all ages and abilities had the opportunity to be fully engaged.
In reflecting on the process, participants commented:
“We have never been involved in such a workshop that allowed us to participate and share our knowledge and views”
“We have learnt so much and will take this back to our Branches to share with other members”
“Having a visual summary of our plan is really helpful”
“We have gained much more confidence and self-esteem and we can now approach authorities to discuss issues that concern us”.
For more information about our work in Tigray, contact Kylie Mines.