UN Global Advocate Eddie Ndopu: Changing how the world thinks about disability
When Eddie Ndopu was a toddler in Namibia, he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and given just five years to live. Now 33, Ndopu is on a mission to reframe how the world thinks about disability, advocating for human rights and equal access to education all over the world.
“The statistics are still abysmal. We're sitting between 90 and 98% of children with disabilities in the Global South who've never seen the inside of a classroom,” Ndopu says “It remains a travesty of justice.”
In 2019, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres tapped Ndopu to be one of 17 Advocates for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, helping translate the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people to a global audience.
GZERO World’s Tony Maciulis caught up with Ndopu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to learn more about the fight for education access, the power of representation, and why it’s important not just to make sure people with disabilities are the beneficiaries of international development, but actually in the decision-making room.