Yetnebersh Nigussie lost her eyesight at the age of 5. She describes this instance as an opportunity as it helped her to escape from the early marriage which was widely exercised in Amhara Saint Wollo, at the place where Yetnebersh was born.
She attended her primary classes in Shashemane Catholic School for the Blind, then joined Menelik II Senior Secondary School (an inclusive school) and learned there up to grade 12. In addition to her academic involvement in the school, she has chaired more than 6 students’ clubs including the students’ counsel. Joining Addis Ababa University, she studied her first degree in law and master’s degree in Social Work.
Continuously involved in extracurricular activities, she chaired the AAU Anti-AIDS movement 2004–05 and founded the Addis Ababa University (AAU) Female Students Association in 2006 as well as served as the first president of the association.
Helen Keller International, a global NGO dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable, today announces Yetnebersh Nigussie as the recipient of The Spirit of Helen Keller Award 2018.
Nigussie is being awarded for her personal journey of determination and compassion and the global voice she gives to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and inclusive education.
The 36-year old Ethiopian lawyer works for the international disability and development organization, Light for the World, as Senior Inclusion Advisor. In 2005, Nigussie co-founded the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD)