The founder

The TDKET project was founded by Tariku and Desta Tesfaye. Even though the brothers themselves grew up in poor circumstances they made their way into the Ethiopian national tennis squad.

When they were children they just wanted to make a little money so they started as ballboys at a tennis club in Addis Abeba. After a little time they were allowed to use the tennis rackets which went surprisingly well.

Once they were successful tennis players Tariku started as a tennis coach at the “Greek Club” in Addis Abeba. The income he generated by these activities would have been sufficient to live a simple but well-off live for Ethiopian standards.

Being “just” a tennis coach was not enough for him: He was always striving for more and he wanted to give some of his success back to his country and to the sports tennis. On their own initiative Tariku and his brother started the remarkable project. It started by Tariku handing out invitations to a scouting tournament to skilled children in the townships of Addis Abeba.

To Tariku and Desta, who acted smart, disciplined and with a great deal of effort, the educational value of the project was of major importance. These goals can only be accomplished by the use of strict regulations.

Meanwhile Tariku became head coach and together with his team he looks after 66 children. He is supported by some of the former participating children of the program who now act as coaches themselves.

Desta lives in Saudi Arabia where he works as a tennis coach. He still donates parts of his income to the TDKET project.