Saba was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After contracting polio as a child, she went through surgeries and therapies at an early age that helped her gain the ability to walk. At 14, Saba came to the United States with her family and began her new life.
Then, in her 30s, Saba returned to Ethiopia – and her life’s calling began.
Saba was shocked to see large numbers of poor and disabled people who were begging outside the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in city-centers in the nation’s capital. Saba knew that these people faced a cruel stigma, and were often considered cursed, as though their disabilities were a form of punishment.
Saba has been working with charitable and medical organizations from across the world since 2011, to provide specialized wheelchairs to those in Ethiopia who needed them. Their focus is primarily on rural areas, which are often overlooked in favor of bigger cities.
Agape Mobility Ethiopia provides a variety of free wheelchairs to children, teens and adults. These wheelchairs come in a range of styles to suit individual needs, from rehab to active, to recliner, to standard functionality. Chairs are often donated and can be re-built by volunteer therapists and technicians to fit the individual needs of patients. Saba serves as the point person and coordinator for the delivery and adjustment of the chairs to fit various patient’s needs.
By 2030, Saba hopes to be able to have distributed 100,000 wheelchairs to those in Ethiopia who need them. Her prayer is that eventually, enough funding and support can be raised to build a factory in Ethiopia that will make these medical-grade chairs – both providing mobility for the disabled community, as well as jobs for those looking for work.
Saba divides her time between Ethiopia, where she runs three privately-run K-8 schools, and Indiana, where she lives with her husband Dean and their four children, who are all attending college.