Yetnebersh Nigussie. Credit: Gregor Kuntscher

Yetnebersh Nigussie

Inclusion

Right Livelihood 2017 laureate, Ethiopian lawyer Yetnebersh Nigussie, is Light for the World's Senior Inclusion Advisor. She is an advocate for the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP). She is married and has two daughters, Ahati and Zema, who she describes as a joy and inspiration in her life.

Losing her eye sight at the age of five, she was raised in rural Ethiopia only escaping early marriage due to her blindness and therefore not being considered a suitable wife. 

She was first educated in a special school before joining a regular school where she learnt what inclusion really means. Overcoming social and institutional barriers, she then graduated from Addis Ababa University as one of the first three female blind law students in Ethiopia. Prior to working at Light for the World, she co-founded the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD), with its overall strategy to make mainstream services such as education, health or livelihood inclusive to persons with disabilities. 

Awards

  • AMANITARE award for sexual and reproductive health advocates, 2003, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Individual award for excellent HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities coordination, awarded by the Addis Ababa City Administration in collaboration with the Addis Abeba HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO). October 7, 2005 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Best HIV/AIDS National Activist, awarded by General Medical Practitioners Association, 2005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • World of Difference 100 Award, awarded by International Alliance for Women (TIAW), 2011
  • Right Livelihood Award, 2017
  • Spirit of Helen Keller Award, 2018