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.