What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
In 2002 Stephan Zihler founded the association Sport – The Bridge. The main reason was that he didn’t much like the way many other organizations interpreted their role as relief or-ganization because “too much money is spent on administration” and they would never want local people to take over the project after a short induction period. So he decided to found Sport – The Bridge with the aim to prove that social development could be done different. He always saw himself as “social troubleshooter” which offers assistance for a short-time. He always persuaded the idea of empowering people so that they could help themselves.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Stephan Zihler, the founder of the association Sport – The Bridge, is an entrepreneur and initiator of new ideas in the area of sport pedagogy. Because he wanted to be able to use play, sport and movement more purposefully in the education work, he developed his own sport-educational model. The published teaching material called “KRAFTmodell” is being used during the last ten years aiming at educational interventions with individuals and in groups.
Since the NGO Sport – The Bridge was set up in 2002 it has undertaken several projects in Switzerland and started its project in Addis Ababa at the end of 2004. “We chose Ethiopia because in many ways it is like Switzerland, in the sense that it is “multicultural and multilin-gual” said Stephan Zihler. Stephan spent a full year in Ethiopia with friends to establish and lead the project. They all served as volunteers during one year.
Stephan has a commercial background, he was then re-educated to a social worker. In the meantime he has found his own social development business focusing on sport and peda-gogy, family care and support for the development of projects. He has experience as supervisor in a child psychiatry as well as pedagogical leader of a children’s home and is board member of several organizations.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company