Sports


Sport and, in particular, running is a powerful medium for reaching vulnerable young girls. It becomes a support structure in a dangerous and alienating urban environment. It provides vulnerable young girls with the skills and confidence to lift themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant models for other women. Team Tesfa allows teens to live in a safe and secure environment, while also receiving an education and support for their desire to run. The Sport for Development program allows us to meet teenagers where they live and help them to develop into young adults who can contribute to society and become stronger individuals.

The Women Athletes for Literacy and Learning (WALL) Program places young athletes in schools and school libraries to assist and to mentor children. With training and support from Ethiopia Reads staff in Addis Ababa, women athletes lead reading circles in primary school libraries and classrooms. They lead in the formation of book clubs. They assist school staff. Women athletes get a chance to see themselves in a different light. That provide confidence and motivation in their own education. Many are still finishing primary or secondary grade levels in night school. They gain work experience in a new and challenging environment, and they will be mentored by professional women.

Team Tesfa
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Team Tesfa
Team Tesfa is an athletics club with a difference. The runners on the team are encouraged to pursue athletic excellence, but they are also encouraged to pursue personal growth, particularly in the realm of education and vocational skills.

Many young people with talent drift into Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with dreams of discovering success in competitive running. Most have not finished their education. In the case of women, many have looked to escape arranged marriage or a life of domestic servitude. They might have extended family in the capital, or they might be on their own. In either case, many end up on the street, making ends meet in any way they can, often in dangerous ways, often in ways that make education, or even training, impossible.

Ethiopia Reads responds with programming to support athletes in expanding their horizons. Team Tesfa is a powerful medium for reaching these girls. It becomes a support structure in a dangerous and alienating environment. It provides vulnerable young girls with the skills and confidence to lift themselves out of poverty and become self reliant models for other women.


Women Athletes (WALL)
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Women Athletes (WALL)
Long-distance running has become a part of Ethiopian culture. Great runners, both men and women, are heroes in Ethiopia. Athletes have the potential to be effective role models for youth and this project would put them at the forefront of literacy efforts.

With training and support from Ethiopia Reads staff in Addis Ababa, women athletes will lead reading circles in primary school libraries and classrooms. They will assist the school librarians. They will lead in the formation of book clubs

By placing women athletes in professional positions, we hope they see themselves in a different light. We hope the experience provides them with motivation in their own education. Many are still finishing primary or secondary grade levels in night school. If they are able to read for children in early grades, it will provide them with confidence and hope. They gain new work experience and, at the same time, are mentored by professional women as well.

The women receive generous salaries for part-time work, work that will not interfere with their training schedules. The goal is confidence that they have it in themselves to develop other marketable skills beyond running.

Many are young women who have faced the most difficult situations in their childhood, making them strong female figures who can mentor and share experiences with school girls. They can help girls to tackle gender issues and advise them not to take things for granted.

It should be noted that many athletes are from Oromo-speaking regions, and are bilingual, in the prevailing Amharic language and regional Oromo language. This provides an opportunity to reach across a tense ethnical divide and work in the Oromo-speaking regions that surround Addis Ababa.


 

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