“The EU project of imagine1day changed the fact that my parents used to hide me from people being ashamed of my disability,” says Biritu Mengistu 13 years old Accelerated Learned Program (ALP) student, at Mambuk IDP site of Dangur district, Benishangul Gumuz.

Biritu has a disability at birth in both her legs and hands. Her journey was tough as she is the only child with disability out of her two sisters and four brothers. Displacement even worsens her situation as she has difficulty moving to access protection and assistance.

Biritu raisin hand for class participation

Biritu says,”I was shocked being in a state I couldn’t help myself nor I can be visible for others support. Everyone was running for their lives except my mother who tried to carry me on her back and take me with her. We were both crying and finally able to manage to move from Azarti to Mambuk following the conflict in 2020. I had been suffering from trauma and nightmares of my experience on the journey of displacement for years after my displacement.”

It was at the time Biritu’s risk of discrimination, exploitation, and violence heightened being on the journey of displacement that imagine1day found her.

“The time imagine1day workers registered me for the Accelerated Learning Program is the first time I felt I can be productive member of the society regardless of my disability. They told me and my family that I have to get access to education like the rest of my siblings and I have to be treated equally. Thanks to EU and imagine1day I have got access to schooling, I am provided wheelchair and scholastic materials. I am so happy I can move by my own and I have friends to play with,” says beaming Biritu.

Biritu with her family


Imagine1day’s inclusive intervention ranging from awareness creation to ensuring Biritus right to education has changed challenging attitudes and mistaken assumptions about persons with disabilities beyond what it means to Biritu.

Biritu says, “Not only my family but also I used to feel ashamed to get out before I started the ALP program. But not anymore, when everyone treats me normal and I am confident enough to be myself. I am actively attending my class and I want to be a Persons with disabilities rights advocate while I complete my education.”