Roger’s caption: “Here is another picture. Ethiopia was a beautiful country and the people were so kind and gentle.”
Photos via Facebook
Photo by REUTERS/Roger Federer Foundation/Marcel Grubenmann/Handout
Reuters wrote a fantastic piece on Roger’s visit, headlined: “Federer Reduced to Tears on Visit to Ethiopia” (As someone quipped on Twitter: “What doesn’t?”) Here are some excerpts:
For Federer, this week’s visit to Ethiopia was one that moved him to tears.
“When I arrived at the school and all of the children were singing, it was very emotional,” Federer told Reuters
“They sang, `Roger, our Father’ to me. I didn’t really understand it at the beginning but I still had tears in my eyes.”
Putting the twins to work:
Eating a lunch of traditional injera — a sort of spongy pancake — with the students at one of two schools he pays for in the country, Federer was peppered with questions. Most of the children wanted to know if he had any of his own.
His seven-month old twin girls, Myla and Charlene, could eventually take over the charity Federer wants to continue long after he stops playing, he said.
“I definitely want to show them that this world exists as well,” Federer said, gesturing at the tin-roofed classrooms around him.
“There’s no way around it for them because I’ll be travelling. It will be a very exciting ten years for me because I’ll be trying to educate and help them and show them all these things.”
The GOAT humbled by a goat:
Local girl Nihlaa Omar, stretching before racing against the tennis maestro in a 1km fun run, said she had seen him on television in a nearby town.
“We know he’s as famous as our famous runners like Kenenisa Bekele,” she said referring to the twice Olympic 10,000 metres champion. “But I think Ethiopians can beat him at running.”
Federer, who was to run against the school’s best athletes, agreed saying: “I’m in a lot of trouble”.
The race kicked off, with the Swiss immediately humbled as the Ethiopian children, who live at high altitude, overtook him en masse, a goat leading the field for the first 500 metres. Federer finished near the back of the field.
Click here to read more from Reuters.
Here’s a little video – thanks, “jfk”!
And another video via the ATP site. Thanks Patzin!
The Roger Federer Foundation funds an Ethiopian NGO called the Education for Development Association or EFDA, specifically its Primary Schools Quality Improvement Project. Here are the details of Roger’s involvement via rogerfedererfoundation.org:
An annual subsidy of CHF 100’000 (about $ 93,3oo) by the RFF finances a project of the EFDA since 2007 and for the coming years. This financial aid will help improve the quality of education for 739 children in the Kore Roba and now also the Moya Gajo Primary Schools. In the two schools, situated 38km north of Addis Ababa, the following measures for standard 1 to 4 pupils will be taken:
* 388 children are already able to go to school every day in the renovated Kore Roba primary school
* 135 girls receive extra tuition
* 27 female teachers lead the class by means of new, interactive forms of tuition
* Importance and benefits of physical activity are discussed among representatives of the community – focusing on the increase of girls participating in sports programs
* Children develop their talents and capability of expression in special kids-clubs (e.g. environment, health, chicken farming, etc)
* 15 elder children can complete an orientation period at a recently setup potter’s workshop.
* Installation of four new toilets, two for girls and two for boys
Roger Federer’s next tournament will be the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, where he trains. The tournament begins on February 22.