Our vision is to give some of the poorest children in Ethiopia the opportunity to achieve successful socialisation through tennis. Through their own initiative and of their own accord they can become some of the best achievers. Successful school attendance, good social interaction and the necessary discipline on the court pave the way to success.
Through making school compulsory and teaching Physical Education, TDKET wants to improve the living conditions of some of the children in Addis Ababa. The children should be taught to become independent and responsible citizens and to develope their own personality. To this end, various organisations work together to support TDKET financially, with material goods, with knowledge and much more.
1. It is founded by Ethiopians
Two Ethiopian brothers, from the poorest of backgrounds, came to tennis through fortunate circumstances and decided at a young age to pass this privilege on to other children. In 2001 they selected the 20 most talented children out of 120 and started to teach them to play tennis early in the morning before school started. This led 10 years later to the foundation of the NGO "Tariku and Desta Kid´s Education through Tennis Development Ethiopia (TDKET)". Today, TDKET supports 70 children. Although they have succeeded in attracting patrons from Germany it is and remains a project by Ethiopians for Ethiopians.
2. It is about an educational project
For the poorest children in Addis Ababa, "Education" is the key to a better life. The educational medium used by TDKET is tennis. Special emphasis is placed on school development, tutoring and additional lessons and the successful participation in tournaments. The children are fully cared for by the project and the parents are encouraged to take responsibility for the development of their child´s performance.
3. It promotes talents
The aim of the programme is to support young people who stand out through their commitment and eagerness to learn and who strive to achieve, both in sport and in school performance. Scholarships for secondary schools are in further important component of this project.
4. It promotes a sence of responsibillity and is designed for sustainability
The idea of the "intergenerational contract" is demonstrated by older children from the project who take on a mentoring role for younger children - going beyond family boundaries. The great role model is Yonas Gebre Woldetsadik. He joined the project at the age of 6 when he lived in an illegally built corrugated iron shed on the edge of a rubbish dump. Yonas now studies at Lewis & Clark College in Lewinston, Idaho (USA) and also fully fulfils his mentoring role. The fact that this project is designed for sustainability and makes the principle of a "revolving system" a reality, is demonstrated by the involvement of first-generation children in the operation of the project for second-generation children today.
5. Ethiopian children and German children meet at eye level
The tennis court is the place where children from different cultures and with completely different backgrounds come together. The fair competition in sport reveals the potential of the Ethiopian children. Even in the very complex sport of tennis they prove to be on a par with their German tennis partners and opponents. When children and young people from Germany go to Addis Ababa and attend a tennis camp, it changes their view of the world - they experience education on equal terms.