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Bronx Player Raising Funds to Rebuild School, Tennis Courts in Niger

July 16, 2012 10:23 AM
The world of tennis knows no bounds. Just ask Ibrahim Siddo of Bronx, NY, who founded a nonprofit organization last year after learning about the destruction of a school in his hometown of Niger during the country’s rainy season.
Siddo, who visited the school in December, saw firsthand the impact on the local community: students were sitting on bricks in classrooms, the school was missing basic educational supplies and the tennis courts where he used to play were all ripped up.
We caught up with Siddo and asked him about his organization, SUPAD Inc, and its efforts to help rebuild and develop Niger.
What is the name of your organization? What is its mission?
SUPAD Inc, comes from truncating the words SUPport and ADvancement and its mission is to help create better conditions for learning and development for children in Niger. 
What inspired you to create this organization?
My inspiration to create this organization came two years ago when I received an email from a cousin of mine from my native village asking me to send money to help reconstruct the classrooms the storms destroyed during the rainy season. When I saw the pictures of the damage, I shared them with friends and colleagues who did not hesitate a bit to join me when I told them about my idea of creating a non-profit to help in this poor country where small help could go far. That was how SUPAD was created on July 25, 2011.
In December 2011 I traveled to Niger, and I saw for myself how serious the situation was. The school had no benches or tables; the students were sitting on bricks in classrooms, and had no basic school supplies. The tennis club I used to play at was unrecognizable, the courts were ripped, the nets torn, and the balls were worn out beyond recognition. That is why I have decided to do something to bring this situation to the knowledge of those who are capable and willing to join us to make a difference for these children.
What can people do to help your organization?
When I came back from Niger I developed the first project: to support the school of Fetetchide. This can be seen on the web at www.supadinc.org. I am also doing everything I can, as mandated by the Niger Tennis Federation, to collect balls, rackets, shoes, nets and anything anyone can give to support the Niger Tennis Federation.
If people want to help, how can they contact your organization?
Whoever wants to help can do so at www.supadinc.org or mail us at 1230 E Tremont Ave #10F Bronx, NY 10460. They can also call us at 917-545-9825.
What’s your hope for the children who are learning to play tennis in Niger?
My hope for the children who are learning to play tennis in Niger is to have decent courts, nets, and balls which, I have no doubt, will galvanize these children and lead them to be even more enthusiastic about tennis. This will ultimately create champions for Niger.