Guided by the mantra “Solidarity through Table Tennis”, one of the ITTF Foundation’s first actions of January 2019 was to launch the TT Dream Building Fund: an annual call for projects using table tennis to support humanitarian projects and promote social welfare across the globe.
A total of 74 applicants from 31 countries put themselves forward: a promising outcome for the first edition of the TT Dream Building Fund, which is open to any legally established and locally recognised non-profit, table tennis, sport or social organisation with a project of bringing about positive change in its local or foreign environment through the means of table tennis.
Subsequently, a shortlist of 10 applicants was created, based on eligibility criteria, project quality and capacity to have a positive social impact. Each of the projects is committed to using table tennis as a means to reach wider humanitarian objectives linked to one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
These 10 projects were then presented to a panel for vote, consisting of highly knowledgeable figures with experience of using table tennis as a tool for social development: Georg Schlachtenberger (External Advisor and founder of the IPC Agitos Foundation); Sarah Hanffou (ITTF Athlete Commission Member and ITTF Foundation Ambassador); Steve Dainton (ITTF CEO); Petra Sorling (ITTF Vice President) and Leandro Olvech (ITTF Foundation Director).
“BUILDING DREAMS FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE”
“Many organisations around the globe applied to the TT Dream Building Fund and it was challenging to select the best programmes. Based on the criteria, we selected projects which we expect to make a sustainable contribution to the relevant target group and the UN Sustainable Development Goals through table tennis activities. I was particularly impressed by two project proposals we received and reviewed: one by an organisation from Ecuador (FUDELA – Fundación de las Americas para el Desarrollo) and one from the Netherlands (Ping Pong Alkmaar). In both projects, table tennis will be an important tool to support refugees and their integration into society. Both projects form part of a community approach in partnership with other organisations of the civil society. I look forward to seeing more and more of these projects in the future.”
“It was extremely pleasing to see such a rich diversity and quality of projects. I am really impressed by the Slum Ping Pong project and the day-to-day commitment of the project leader and supporting team. The selected programmes have the potential to make a huge social impact. They fit perfectly with the values and goals of the ITTF Foundation.”
“This is an historical moment for the ITTF Foundation and I wish to sincerely thank all applicants for sharing their project ideas with us. We are motivated to witness so many people who, like us at the Foundation, want to bring positive change to their community through table tennis. I was positively surprised by the total number of quality project proposals we received, which made the selection process extremely competitive. I am confident that the chosen programmes will be a big success. Projects such as Llevalois will contribute greatly towards the advancement of table tennis for health, while the Talent4Development project stands out for its sheer sustainability. The future is bright and I look forward to next year’s call where I hope to see even more project diversity. In honour of this first Dream Building Fund, we have decided to celebrate the World Table Tennis Day 2019 with one of the fund recipients, Slum Ping Pong. We will be spending 6 April in Kampala, Uganda and then heading to the town of Hoima to visit an ongoing project there. I am eager to see their work first-hand and, collectively, to celebrate the power that table tennis can have for improving the lives of children residing in slums.”
The ITTF Foundation would like to thank all applicants for sharing their dreams and high-quality proposals. Unfortunately, not every project could be selected, but the ITTF Foundation staff is committed to providing feedback on all applications via email by mid-April 2019.
SIX PROJECTS FOR POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH TABLE TENNIS
The ITTF Foundation sends its congratulations to the 2019 TT Dream Building Fund recipients:
Slum Ping Pong (Kampala, Uganda)
Three-year project which aims to use table tennis as a tool to provide access to education for young people in slums, reaching 100 new children and integrating them into schools and presenting them with greater life opportunities. The project will be playing an integral role at World Table Tennis Day 2019, hosting this year’s marquee event on 6 April in Kampala.
Levallois Sporting Club Tennis de Table (Levallois, France)
Three-year project which aims to deepen the understanding and promote the practice and benefits of table tennis for people with Alzheimer’s and those in remission of Cancer.
Ping Pong Alkmaar (Alkmaar, Netherlands)
Three-year project which aims to provide accessible table tennis activities for the whole community of Alkmaar with a focus on breaking down barriers and stereotypes concerning migrant and refugee populations, promoting their integration into society.
FUDELA – Fundación de las Américas para el Desarrollo (Northern Ecuador)
Two-year project which aims to use table tennis as a vehicle of change and opportunities for youth and for the integration of Venezuelan and Colombian migrant and refugee populations with the Northern Ecuadorian community.
Talent4Development (Mathare, Kenya)
Three-year project which aims to find a sustainable solution to integrate and develop opportunities for children in slums through table tennis, coaching and school education.
National Youth Table Tennis Association (Milwaukee, USA)
Three-year project which aims to promote table tennis in the Milwaukee Public Schools, where there exists a high percentage of socially disadvantaged, ethnic minority students.
The ITTF Foundation would like to thank once more all applicants for sharing their TT Dream Building Fund projects. Now the new adventure begins with the six selected projects getting under way before the next call takes place in 2020.