International Development: CIL Supporting Independent Living in Ethiopia




International Development: CIL Supporting Independent Living in Ethiopia




Independent Living is a worldwide movement for people with disabilities. Ethiopia is the first African Nation to become involved. The Ethiopia CIL was established in 2007 through support from the Blanchardstown CIL. In 2008, BCIL hosted the ECIL board in Ireland for 10 days to demonstrate how people with disabilities are included in Irish life.




Objectives of ECIL:




·         To promote inclusion and equality for disabled people in all aspects of mainstream life in Ethiopia including social, economic, political and civil elements.


·         To ensure disabled people are at the centre of all decisions that are made in relation to their lives. “Nothing about us without us”




How ECIL emerged:




2007:     Started with support from Blanchardstown CIL


2008:     Twinned by Fingal County Mayor on ECIL visit to Ireland


2008:     Board of Management of 4/5 People – all professional people with disabilitiesExecutive Advisory Board of 30 People from across the                 business, medical and academic sectors. 150 Members – all people with disabilities and supporters.


2009:     Received its official Charity Registration


2010:     Projects on HIV+ for PWDs and Election Campaign


2011:     Funding ceased, Office vacated and operation at standstill


2012:     Funding sourced and revival took place


2013:     Currently re-establishing services and structure


2013:     Establishment of an Irish Support Group




Achievements of ECIL:




·         Successful campaigned for changes to the planning and building laws which have resulted in all new buildings being accessible.


·         Succeeded in bringing in new regulations for the 2010 elections to ensure polling booths were accessible


·         Implemented the first personal assistance (PA) program in Ethiopia allowing disabled people to have control over their independence.


·         Launched a multi-agency project with Mobility International USA, USAID, and the National AIDS Resource Centre to facilitated the Governments Global Health Initiative becoming accessible to people with disabilities.


·         Currently offering PA Services and distribution of some Aids/Appliances




Steering Group for the  Centre for Independent Living in Ethiopia (ECIL)




The Centre for Independent Living in Ethiopia has been supporting people with disabilities since 2007 and they are providing some services and doing some lobbying. On behalf of ECIL, we are now looking for some guidance from Irish Leaders in relation to strategic development of their organisation.




Purpose of the Steering Group:




·         Peer support to the board in ECIL in relation to the Mission, Vision, Ethos and Philosophy of Independent Living.


·         Assisting in the development of a website in Ethiopia


·         Advising the Board in Addis Ababa regarding Governance and organisational structure


·         Identifying Funding streams from the Western world for the Ethiopia CIL


·         Assisting with managing their finances


·         Assisting with the development of a strategic plan


·         Visiting the group in Addis in order to build links (Optional)


·         Lobbying Irish Aid and other Relief Agencies to ensure that they include the mainstreaming of Disability in all their aid programs.


·         Lobbying for mainstreaming of disability support in the strategic development plans of developing countries.


·         Arranging the meeting venues, minutes, agendas and limited general admin.


·         Assisting with identifying funding streams that could be accessed by the Irish and Addis Ababa Groups.


·         Assist with the Co-ordinating of any visits to Ethiopia and vice-versa


·         Assist in maintaining a line of communication between the two groups.


·         Assist with the lobbying requirements for the group


·         Limited assistance with some pre-agreed basic costs




Get Involved:




If you are familiar with the philosophy of Independent Living for people with disabilities and wish to assist a disability rights organisation in the developing world please come along to a meeting to see where you might get involved.




The first Steering group meeting took place on Wednesday the 19th of June 2013.


 From 6pm – 8pm in the Irish Aid Centre (Workshop Room), 31 O’Connell St Upper, Dublin 1.




If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Naoise Cunningham at or 01-8730455.