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Daniel Tesfahoun - Ethiopia

During 1992 Tesfahoun served as a deminer for the Ethiopian military. While working to clear a mine, he accidentally set off a mine. He lost both his arms below the elbow and also suffered from hearing loss in his right ear. After being hospitalized, Tesfahoun did not receive any compensation from the military for ten months.

LSN first met Tesfahoun last year though a referral from the Ethiopian National Association for Physically Disabled.

Tesfahoun has a special talent in that he write's poems. Although Tesfahoun has lost both hands, he still physically writes the poems and is looking for support to have them published. He has written poems for conferences on disability, and he read his most recent poem to a gathering of people from the Cheshire Walk, benefiting teenagers with disabilities staying in the Cheshire Home. Part of his community service is to write poems about landmines and disability and also to clean the area surrounding his shop and put in flowers and make the area more environmentally friendly.

LSN and Tesfahoun agreed to work together to establish a small shop on a central avenue in Addis Ababa. Tesfahoun did all the research on the location – it is not far from his home, it is on a main avenue, located near a taxi stop, and across the street from a factory. There are no other shops in the vicinity and Tesfahoun received approval from the authorities to allow his shop to function. The name of his shop (written in Amharic above the front counter) is called: “Bright Future Shop”.

The shop is open twenty-four hours a day and has a variety of foods and materials. Business has been good, managing to turn a profit from the venture. Tesfahoun’s wife brings him food while he works and she also watches the shop when he goes home for bathing or is out of the shop for other matters. Tesfahoun is using his profits to increase his supplies and he is planning to install a phone line in his store for customer use.

Tesfahoun does not wear arm prostheses and is exceptionally functional in using his forearms for all activities. He collects and provides coin change to customers, uses bottle openers, writes, and is independent in personal hygiene.

Tesfahoun met his wife in 1993 (after his injury). He has a 12 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. Both kids attend school. His daughter is in 5th grade and his son is in kindergarten.

View the next profile: Nicodimos Teshome

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