In the city of Bahir Dar in northwest Ethiopia, parents with developmentally disabled children are trapped in ignorance and frustration. Many do not know what is wrong with their child and have little or no guidance or resources to help them. Most Ethiopian’s do not realize that inside the disabled child is a real person with hidden abilities. These children are often left in a back room or are sent out on the streets to beg.
The Hidden Abilities project focuses on working with disabled children and their families in both the therapy-center as well as in the homes of the children where physical therapy continues with the help of the broader family and community. The primary objective is for the children and their families to see the child has great value, and that they can learn skills for independence, self-care, mobility, and school readiness.
The other objective is to promote professional training and understanding among Ethiopian health care professionals.