Dream Building Fund: A Story of Change at Talent 4 Development
Facing the pandemic of COVID-19, times are difficult for all of us. Therefore, we would like to spread some good news from our field projects.
Today: TALENT 4 DEVELOPMENT - The story of Joseph Owina.
The aim of our Dream Building Fund 2019 project Talent 4 Development (T4D) in Mathare, KENYA, is to find a sustainable solution to integrate and develop opportunities for slum children through table tennis, coaching and school education. The table tennis programme reaches 40 children & youth daily.
Watch the video to listen to or scroll down to read about the project experiences of head coach Joseph Owina.
"My name is Joseph, I work for Talent 4 Development (T4D) and happy to be here.
Actually, the project started in 2016, but me, I came and joined where I met Alvaro in 2017. When I met Alvaro, he started from the grassroots level working in the slums with kids. We didn’t have the official tables yet, but we were working in the play hoods. We were playing outside; we didn’t have a hall like this to play. So, you know when there is wind or rain it is not possible to play table tennis. Starting at this point made me work harder.
We had many kids from different schools and one-time Alvaro went back to Spain and left me alone with this project, so I had to handle this difficult situation. But I had to do it – although I was just a volunteer not getting paid. There were many challenges, but I kept being patient working with the kids because that’s what I want to do in my life: Working with kids. I don’t want to do it like a business, just training the kids. After Alvaro came back from Spain with some resources, we decided to improve the project by buying one official table in 2017. Even this little improvement was motivating for me, especially because he put me in charge of the kids when he’s not around.
For me personally I can say that this project and table tennis is my passion. This is what I want to do.
It affects me in different areas: Firstly, when I’m here playing with kids, I feel like I have a family, I have people who are close to me and we have one thing in common, which is wonderful. Secondly, it cleared my mind and guided me into the right direction. I think, working with Alvaro and Mery helped me finding the right path in life which people should follow in general – not only working for money but how to work with people. It really changed my mindset.
If I would not do this now, I might do something out there being not good. But here I come every day, I work with the kids and fellow users every day, which keeps me busy and the right to give something back to my community by helping these kids.
In 2018, Alvaro applied for the ITTF Foundation’s Dream Building Fund. Now, they support us and bought these other two tables and other materials for us. This enables us to better our daily training with more than 40 kids here. These new materials like the racket I’m holding here made our training possible and easier. Also, the kids are happy to have us because they see us as their parents.
This is still a young project, we still need support and volunteers and people to come helping us in different areas because we’re not only doing table tennis, but badminton, art and music. So, we accept anything that can expand this project to help and reach more people becoming a big thing. That is our vision.
Feel free to visit T4D whenever you’re in Kenya, we welcome you to see what we are doing. Thank you."
We, the ITTF Foundation, are glad to contribute to this project and looking forward to seeing more of T4D in the future.
You want to do more? Get involved!
Join our ONLINE DONATION CAMPAIGN to contribute to our cause “Solidarity through Table Tennis”.
It will be highly appreciated – no matter how big or small it is!
For any queries related to COVID-19 and how it affects ITTF Foundation activities, please contact: