Moïra’s Garden Project RECAP

The garden project initiated and lead by Moïra, one of the current Swiss trainees at STB in Ethiopia, successfully came to an end. Currently, children and staff are collecting the vegetables in order to prepare them for a celebration to be held on coming Friday.

Find below a movie summarizing the work process which lasted several months and giving insights to the convincing results of this exciting project.


2014 – STB Ethiopia in retrospect

Written by: Lastawsh Takele (psychologist), Behailu Jemal (sport teacher), Lilyana Ahmed (program manager)

10th anniversary opening ceremony (June2, 2014)

10th anniversary opening ceremony (June 2, 2014)

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.

Opening ceremony 10th anniversary  (June 2,2014), from left: Lilyana Ahmed (Family Department), Yonas Mindaye (Sport Department), Elsabeth Sisay (Nutrition Department) and  Sr. Aelefech Nigussie

Opening ceremony 10th anniversary (June 2, 2014), from left: Lilyana Ahmed (Family Department), Yonas Mindaye (Sport Department), Elsabeth Sisay (Nutrition Department) and Sr. Aelefech Nigussie (Nurse)

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.

Arriving in Addis Abeba and Sport – The Bridge

My name is Manuela, I am 34 years old and I am a trainee from the Lindenhof hospital located in Bern. Around ten days ago I arrived in Addis Ababa and already experienced so many things that I can’t tell everything here.

When I arrived I was overwhelmed by the way people live in the city of Addis Ababa. You can see kids and elderly people sleeping on the streets or begging for some money. The streets around our guesthouse are not plastered so there is a lot of dust or mud when it is raining on the way from the house to the compound. The houses in our neighborhood are mostly constructed out of corrugated iron or plastic sheets. The people are friendly and open and they call us “ferenschii” all the time. That means foreigner. For me all these impressions in the city are so different from the living in Switzerland that I am in a sort of a cultural shock at the moment! But all that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel comfortable at all. The people on the street and especially the staff from Sport The Bridge made me feel welcome in this town where the trucks drive next to a donkey both loaded with a lot of stuff.


As I said people on the streets treat us foreigners with a lot of respect even when you don’t understand a word of Amharic. As I was able to see, their dealings among themselves is characterized by a lot of respect while they greet each other. All that made it easy for me to accomodate.

In the first week I was able to join the staff retreat from Sport – The Bridge. It was an amazing experience to spend the day with all the friendly people and was a great opportunity for me to get to know each one of them better. First we drove through Addis Ababa but after a short time and a police control we headed to a place called Portuguese bridge. We drove through little villages covered with bushes. The houses were mostly built round out of mud. For me it was the first time out of Addis so I enjoyed the view of the countryside very much. The place itself is worth a visit as well. There is a waterfall heading to a valley which is amazing! I never saw a place like that before. Suddenly a horde of monkeys came down the hill really fast and scared quite a bit! 😉 After that interruption we had lunch and a coffee ceremony which was also disturbed by a few buzzards. They were attacking the people who were eating from the air and a few of us were looking for shelter in a hut. Then the actual retreat began. There were a lot of discussions going on….even political issues were talked through. After that they installed big speakers and the fun part began with some local beer and a lot of dancing. They taught us “ferenshiis” how to dance to abeshan music and wanted us to teach them Macarena!! It was good fun. When the sun went down we got into the buses again and drove back to Addis with a lot of singing and dancing in the bus. To be honest in my imagination I had several car accidents on that ride, because the traffic here has very different rules than in Switzerland.;) Luckily we arrived home safe and tired.


After the staff retreat I learned how to value “normal things” like electricity, flowing water and to have a washing machine. We were out of water for 5 days. Luckily my roommates were properly prepared for an incident like that. Thank you Moïra and Beni.

After all I realized that living simple like here in the guesthouse in Addis Ababa is possible and not that bad at all, because you get to appreciate the small things in life much more.