Written by: Lastawsh Takele (psychologist), Behailu Jemal (sport teacher), Lilyana Ahmed (program manager)
Time is running fast! It is December now and somehow hard to realize that again 12 months have passed by with experiencing a lot of hardship of street children on a daily basis. Just as in previous times, also this year many activities have been accomplished within STB Ethiopia. However, what makes this year special is the 10th anniversary of the program. Thanks to the founders and other significant figures, the association has reached a lot of success in the process of rehabilitating street children and their respective families.
Since the beginning in 2004 until today, STB Ethiopia has been able to reach about 1’000 street children. Considering the difficult nature of the work and the limited capacity of the organization, this number implies a remarkable achievement. Throughout this year’s October, 108 children were recruited, out of which we work with 40 children and their families closely today. More than 90% out of these children originally come from countryside regions and the smaller amount (less than 10%) come from Addis Ababa.
In June the 10th anniversary celebration of the program was launched and since then STB was engaging in different activities to celebrate the achievements of the past decade, for which all staff members have been generating ideas. To put these ideas into practice, 4 working groups have been established to prepare and start the implementation of concrete actions and events around the 10th anniversary:
- In total 200 people celebrated the occasion of the annual school closing in August, among them older STB children, school children (follow-up program participants) and all staff.
- In October the staff did their annual retreat in remembering the jubilee.
- Recently, on 1st of November, an event was carried out for the neighboring community: Neighbors were invited for a drama play and a show of the STB girls who practice karate. The event also comprised a photo and drawing exhibition and older successful beneficiaries were interviewed. Furthermore leaflets about STB were distributed to the guests, who were also given the opportunity to write suggestions. “I did not know well how you support the children in the center, today I have realized that you offer an integrated and wholesome service, I am very impressed about your work” one interviewed guest said.
- Last but not the least an activity, which will be realized soon in relation with the anniversary, is an educational tour with the school follow-up children. In this context the youths have the possibility to visit museums, monuments and get insights into specific working fields. All these activities will be guided and monitored by the STB staff.
Ahead of us, we remain with two main activities related to the 10th anniversary of STB. One is a panel discussion on 29th of January 2015 on sport as a means of social development. Social workers, sport teachers and sociology students from Addis Ababa University and other NGOs who work with children will attend the panel discussion. The speakers will be experts from STB and other NGOs who are doing social work through sport. The last event related to the jubilee will be on 31st of January, when the final closing ceremony of the 10th anniversary will be held. On this day, there will be different activities and speeches by invited guests and representatives of STB Ethiopia and Switzerland. In addition to that, STB kids will perform another drama play and recognition certificates will be presented to the partners. For this last ceremonial event we are currently inviting representative partner organizations from government offices, NGOs and schools, former STB staff members, STB children and their families.
STB also wants to use the celebration to recapitulate 10 years of experience that have shown, that sport can be a valuable tool to understand street children, provide them with necessary support and teach social skills. In the face of those achievements we would like to thank our current supporters and invite future supporters to become a part of our efforts.
Hello, I wish to contact Ms. Lilyana Ahmed- program manager . I am deeply impressed by your activities in Ethiopia. I am collaborating with Mifalot- Israeli NGO , partner at the Street Football World project.
Untill recently I acted as the Director-General of the Wingate Institute, the largest sport institute in Israel. Today, I am initiating a sport excellence program for children from underprivileged societies, both in Israel and in Ethiopia. Like your team at Sportthebridge I look at the values of sport as basic skills for life and as a platform for those hundreds of children that will support and develop them to experience success and will open for them a window for a better future.
I am planning a visit to Ethiopia in February and will be glad to meet with you and review some issues that may be in common.
I will appreciate it if you could please reply to this mail for possible further communication.