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SPAT Project

SPAT stands for Sport and Physical Activity Trainer and is aimed at educating people who have a disability to become a professional sports teacher, as well as to help them find jobs in relevant sectors. The project is focused in developing countries, with the goal being to help elevate the position of those with disabilities within local society.

The SPAT project was introduced in Ethiopia in 2009, and is being carried out by the Ethiopian NGO Dires for Development Charitable Association. In 2019 SPAT was also introduced in Kenya, in the Southeastern county of Kwale. There the project is facilitated by the Kwale Deaf Centre, a community center for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

The joy of movement

While sports have many beneficial elements, the best by far is how fun it is. Enjoying spots and movement should be a part of everyone’s childhood, inclusive of all those who have a disability. Because we believe this so firmly, the slogan of the SPAT project is ‘the Joy of Movement’.

Inclusion and Awareness

The founding idea of the SPAT project is that sports can be a great tool to contribute to the emancipation of people with a disability in developing countries. Often there are negative beliefs about having a disability in the local society. People consider disability as a ‘punishment from above’ and assume that if you have a disability, you will be reliant on charity. This stigmatization creates barriers for people with a disability to fully participate in society. SPAT aims to break this negative connotation by providing inclusive sports and movement activities while trying to create concrete opportunities for work and income for those involved.

Usually the SPATs work in schools where they provide sports activities to children with a disability. In many developing countries, children with a disability cannot participate in sports, but SPAT makes this possible. While the skills learned from sports – movement, communication, cooperation – are wonderful, the SPATs themselves are the greatest inspiration. They are living examples of what you can accomplish in life despite having a disability. This role model function is one of the basic principles of the SPAT project.

Once certified, the SPATs are also qualified to provide sports and activities to non-disabled members of their community. This helps to remove the barriers between them by showing a great example of someone with a disability working in such an active role. This is even rare in Western countries, which makes the SPAT project unique and empowering.

Creating and organizing inclusive sports events is also a large part of getting the word out about the SPAT project. These events can bring about large crowds and local media, which makes this incredible project visible to a larger audience. Organizing sports events is an important part of the project.

Donate here

The SPAT project is unique in its kind. Donate and help us to sustain the project!

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