Yetnebersh Nigussie, disability activist and human rights lawyer, on growing up blind in Ethiopia – and scooping the ‘alternative Nobel’

Yetnebersh Nigussie didn’t realise she was different until she was 12. Only when she started at a mainstream school and found that no one wanted to be her friend did she start to understand that being a blind girl in rural Ethiopia might bring with it a few challenges.

Being disabled and female in the developing world are no small barriers. But Nigussie, now a human rights lawyer with two daughters of her own, has been named as one of the winners of an award described as “the alternative Nobel prize” for what the Sweden-based Right Livelihood award foundation described as “her inspiring work, promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities”.

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