Street Racket in Ethiopia: we need your support

Street Racket has been invited to introduce Street Racket to the SPAT organisation. SPAT leads a wonderful and impressive project which is hosting a program to train people with disability to become PE teachers (2 years program).

SPAT stands for Sport and Phyisical Activity Trainer, and thanks to this program, thousands of Ethiopian children with disabilities were able to grow up playing sports, something which is far from self-evident in a developing country like Ethiopia.

We plan the following ccoperation:

- Street Racket should become a module of the PE teacher training program.

- Street Racket shall be part of the SPAT festival held in Addis Abeba April 29- May 5, 2019

- All PE teacher that have finished the training program and are already working in the field shall take part in a Street Racket introduction course

- Some people of the PE teacher training program shall become Street Racket instructors and continue our work there.

We are convinced that this cooperation would be of great value to the program and we absolutely would like to use this opportunity.

We therefore need to raise money:

- Flight, travel expenses, accommodation etc. CHF 750.-

- Donation Material (NGO price) CHF 500.-

- all Street Racket introduction lessons (NGO price): CHF 500

- Street Racket activity @ SPAT festival: CHF 200.-

Overall CHF 1950.-

Lets rock the streets in Addis Abeba, thank you for supporting ,sharing and shouting out to your rich friends and family

Donations either directly via mission Ethiopia

or the Street Racket Donors Club

Please find more information on the SPAT festival below:

SPAT festival – Addis Ababa

Ten years of SPAT

In 2019, the SPAT program from Dires for Development is exactly ten years old. We will celebrate this with a special week full of activities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from April 29 to May 4, 2019. On the one hand the aim is to put the spotlight on SPAT itself and to make the results that have been achieved visible and, on the other hand, identify the prospects for future cooperation and support.

SPAT stands for Sport and Phyisical Activity Trainer, and thanks to this program, thousands of Ethiopian children with disabilities were able to grow up playing sports, something which is far from self-evident in a developing country like Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and people with disabilities are hit extra hard. Means to sustain ones self are hardly available and on top of that, there are major misunderstandings and prejudices against people with disabilities. It is assumed that disabled people are unable to do anything and as such, they are often condemned to beggary. The SPAT program attempts to rectify these misunderstandings. Twenty-two talented people (11 men and 11 women) with disabilities have been trained as professional physical education teachers (according to Dutch standards of CIOS-4 level) and they provide physical education lessons to school children with disabilities in and around Addis Ababa. The children learn essential skills such as physical motor skills, cooperation, communication, et cetera. Because the teachers themselves are disabled, they fulfil a very important role model for the children and their environment. The strong, assertive, and well-trained SPAT trainers show them that despite their disability or impairment they can have a lot to offer. This contributes to the creation of self-confidence and a positive self-image, which the children desperately need to have a successful life in Ethiopia.

Why a SPAT festival?

The SPAT project has had a significant impact on the lives of children with disabilities in Ethiopia over the past ten years. An entire generation of children with disabilities received weekly lessons from physical education teachers who are disabled themselves. This is unique in the world. Even in developed countries you will not witness this very often. After ten years it is time to look closely at what the project really has yielded. What impact did it have on the children, their surroundings and on the SPAT trainers themselves? What can we learn from the past ten years, and how do we continue? These questions will be the focus of the project week in Addis Ababa. These questions will be addressed in the form of conferences, workshops, presentations and performances.

The Ethiopian foundation Dires for Development has implemented the

SPAT project over the past ten years. However, many things have changed in recent years. Decreasing subsidies have meant that the project today cannot be carried out on the scale that they would like to see it. The project week is therefore dedicated to exploring new collaborations with educational institutions, professionals, sports organisations, interest groups, etc. The most important questions are: what added value can the SPAT program have for relevant networks in the Netherlands, and how can this be implemented in practice? What opportunities are available for the SPAT program to continue to exist in the next ten years? Which potential partners can play a role in this? Issues such as financing, training and education, talent development, internships and voluntary work, and so on will be discussed.

For whom?

The project week is suitable for anyone who is interested in special education, adapted physical education and disability sports (especially for children), development work, knowledge exchange, internships and volunteer work, etc. Everybody is welcome, whether they have a disability or not. During this week you will be immersed in what sports can mean for people with disabilities in developing countries. You will have the opportunity to talk to the physical education teachers, the children, and the people behind the program. You can get first-hand experience of the impact of the program, and we will explore whether, and in what way, this approach could be applied in your own situation. We are very interested in creating partnerships with relevant organizations in the Netherlands and abroad. During large parts of the year we like to welcome students and professionals in Ethiopia for meaningful exchange of content, but we are also able to export our approach of SPAT to other countries. For example, we are preparing to set up this SPAT project in Kenya and in the remote regions of Ethiopia. Even in a Dutch (or European) context, this approach is unique and could in our opinion also be introduced there. We make time during the week for potential partners to discuss possibilities for a substantive collaboration. If you have a background yourself as a professional or expert in this field, we would like to invite you to actively contribute to the program at the conference. We would be happy to discuss this further with you.

By who?

The project week is organized by the Ethiopian foundation Dires for Development Charitable Association, in collaboration with Dutch / Ethiopian travel and project organization The Ethiopia Experience, they are supported by various partners. Below is a brief description of who is involved:

Dires for Development Charitable Association

An Ethiopian foundation that works for people with disabilities in Ethiopia, especially children. Dires focuses in particular on using sport as a means to strengthen the position of people with disabilities. The SPAT project is their main activity. Currently, there are 20 people employed by Dires of whom almost everyone has a disability.

The Ethiopia Experience

The Ethiopia Experience (also abbreviated as TEX) is a Dutch travel and project organization founded in 2015 with the aim to generate income for Dires for Development. From TEX, all sorts of activities are developed that enable Dires to generate income. Their most important activity is organizing trips. TEX is a fully operational travel organization specializing in Ethiopia, and currently organizes travel for more than 300 people a year. It concerns themed travels for students and professionals, and journeys for tourists and holidaymakers. Additionally, TEX is involved in organizing events and supervising small-scale social projects.

Respo International

Respo International is a Dutch foundation that has financed the SPAT program over the past ten years. Respo has always been the driving force behind SPAT, and has consistently supported the program over the past decade. However, Respo is faced with declining revenues from grants, and is no longer able to continue to support the program. They will still finance the program for fifty percent in 2019 but next year they will hand the project over to their local partners. Respo will remain a partner in the background and will continue to support SPAT wherever they can.

The Lydia Zijdel Foundation

Lydia Zijdel is one of the founders and the designer of the SPAT program. Lydia herself is a permanent wheelchair user an expert in the field of adapted physical education and is known as one of the main champions of emancipation of people with disabilities in Europe and beyond. Ten years ago, she designed the content of the SPAT program and trained the first team of SPAT trainers whilst setting up the project in Ethiopia. In recent years she has taken some distance from the project itself, but she still promotes the SPAT concept all over the world in global forums dedicated to disability, gender, adapted physical education and research. Now that her project has existed for ten years, and in the light of the new circumstances, she is very motivated to cooperate directly in maintaining and further developing the project through her international networks.

Click here for an impression of the work of Lydia in Ethiopia:

Stichting Andelay

Andelay Foundation is the Dutch foundation of Mulugeta Asmelash. Mulugeta is the founder of Dires for Development, the Ethiopian foundation that carries out the SPAT program. Mulugeta led Dires for years, but in 2016 he handed the project over to local managers. He now lives in the Netherlands but is still involved in the project from the sidelines. Mulugeta and his foundation are ambassadors of the project in Ethiopia and beyond, and are committed to continuing SPAT in the future.

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