Results and future plans
In the past twelve years, the SPAT project has had a profound impact on the lives of children with a disability in Ethiopia. Twelve years ago, it was very uncommon that children with a disability would participate in sports activities, let alone that people who have a disability could become a sports teacher.
This has changed completely in and around the capital city Addis Ababa. The project has trained and employed dozens of people with a disability as a sports teacher, and on average has reached an average of two thousand children with a disability every week. A whole generation of children with a disability have now grown up with sports and movement thanks to the SPAT project. The project has contributed to developing confidence, skills, and self-esteem with children who have a disability. In many cases, people with a disability who participated in the project when they were young, have declared that it has helped them significantly in finding opportunities for work and income and become a more independent citizen.
We are raising funds to conduct a scientific data-based research on the effects of SPAT. We hope to be able to do this in the next couple of years. But there is no single doubt in our minds that the SPAT project is of great value for people with a disability in Ethiopia.
In 2021, the SPAT project will enter its 12th year. It is our mission to continue the project for another 12 years. In Ethiopia we want to expand to rural areas outside the capital Addis Ababa, and in Kenya we want to realize an impact all over the county of Kwale.
Our priorities for the coming years are:
Sports activities for children with and without a disability
We will continue to provide sports activities for children with a disability provided by teachers who have a disability themselves. Next to this, we also want to implement the project more at regular schools for children without a disability. This will be a very powerful tool to create positive awareness about having a disability.
Senior SPAT / Junior SPAT
The current SPAT team in Ethiopia has over ten years of work experience in their field. We want to use this experience to help train and educate a new generation of SPATS, both in Kenya and in Ethiopia. We want to introduce the job title ‘senior SPAT’, who will focus more on giving training along with minor management tasks.
We want to improve the sustainability of the SPAT project by investing more in a successful flow from the SPAT project to the regular labor market. After a few years, educated SPATs who have several years of working experience, should be able to find jobs in regular sports and education sectors. We will offer guidance and job coaching to ensure success. Also, we find it very important that the local partners in Ethiopia and Kenya secure a part of the budget for the SPAT project themselves, either through income generating activities, or local fund raising. They cannot rely completely on foreign donors and should be able to raise about 50% of the budget themselves. We offer support and guidance, and we have already proven to be successful in this.
It is our mission to develop the SPAT project in a sustainable way, and to reach more children. Help us to accomplish our mission!