In 2012 Partners in Disability and Development (PDD) worked with the Mekele Ortho Physiotherapy Centre to establish a wheelchair repair and maintenance workshop at the request of the Women with Disabilities Association of Tigray.
The women recognised that a lack of an affordable place to maintain and/or repair mobility devices was a significant barrier for women, men, girls and boys who rely on their device to be able to get around and participate in their communities. The challenging physical environment in Tigray makes the need for a reliable repair shop particularly important.
Tools and training for workshop staff were provided by PDD, and a system established for further training to be provided through local technical colleges. Staff salaries are funded by the Government of Ethiopa. Between 2012–2014, PDD continued to offer support, providing funds for spare parts and materials, enabling many wheelchair repairs to be carried out.
In 2015, funds have been provided through Motivation Australia to purchase spare parts and materials. For more information, email Kerry Thomas.