Yetnebersh Nigussie

Director for advocacy and human rights, Light for the World

@yetnebersh_lftw // @lftwworldwide

Yetnebersh Nigussie is a human rights activist dedicating her life for the improvement of living conditions of persons regardless of their age, gender, disability etc. Born and raised in rural Ethiopia, Ms. Nigussie describes blindness as her opportunity for entering the path of education by escaping early marriage widely exercised in her village and in the country.

She has co-founded the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), through which she has forged a number of structural and systemic changes in the lives of persons with disabilities in Ethiopia. Through ECDD, she has also fought for increased space for civil societies in Ethiopia firmly standing against the repressive CSO law passed in 2009. She has co-founded and served as the co-chair of the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Forum and lobbied for a new democratic CSO legislation which her country Ethiopia endorsed in January 2019.

Yetnebersh has received a number of awards for her outstanding achievements in the areas of disability inclusion including the Rights Livelihood Award, interchangeably known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, the Spirit of Hellen Keller award 2018 and many more.

She is the recent elect deputy commissioner for the National Reconciliation Commission. Currently serving as the director for advocacy and human rights in Light for the World, an international NGO working on disability and Development, Ms. Nigussie believes “leaving no one behind” requires increased civil society participation and solidarity to demand better future for all.