Dream Building Fund: Education and Sports Open Doors for Better Opportunities

With the support of the Dream Building Fund, Talent4Development (T4D) offers weekly table tennis training sessions that help primary students establish daily routines to channel their talent better and open doors to future opportunities.

Talent4Development (T4D) is one of the Dream Building Fund 2019 recipients. Alvaro De Abreu Puig, the founder of T4D, believes that breaking the poverty cycle is almost impossible without opening access to education (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education). Through the project Mathare Tables for Hope, T4D gives the children the ability to imagine a different future and education tools to live the dream. By providing table tennis training, coaching, and mentoring, this programme aims to increase school attendance and the chance of children obtaining scholarships to advance their education.

This project has directly impacted 39 children who now attend the school regularly, and 30 children receive regular safe spaces for the mentoring session to build their future. Following last year’s success of scholarship attainment by Hadassah, this year is the time for Aaron to shine.

“I feel so good about the scholarship because it helps my mother clear the school fee balances. She used to struggle so hard to pay my school fees. And I am happy because I will continue my training and education to learn more things.” - Aaron Odhiambo, scholarship recipient.

Aaron is the first table tennis player in his school who obtain the scholarship. Giving children the chance to continue their education will also allow them to keep practising table tennis in school to improve their skills. Like Aaron, Alex also secured his place in St. Theresa School. Although the scholarship scheme is different, T4D is committed to collaborating with his family to support and ensure he finishes his secondary education.

“My family’s problem is that my father does not have a stable job to support my education. I would like to thank the ITTF Foundation and friends from Spain who helped me to pay for my school fee.” - Alex Oduor, scholarship recipient.

This condition puts him in a vulnerable condition. Since the table tennis training began in his school, he joined the training and became more committed to his studies because it is part of the learning process. And after the training, he can still manage to do his homework showing that table tennis training does not prevent the children from completing their schoolwork. He will be staying as a trainer and a coach for the younger generation in his previous school, Drive-In, as he finishes his secondary education.

Alex has another dream. He wants to become an electrical engineer. With mental notes and goals in mind, he commits to his study to get better grades. In the end, making his dream his reality.

“As a collective, we are extremely pleased with this achievement, and are proud to be working with T4D. This demonstrates the importance of supporting young people to realise their potential, and the role it can play in the overall sustainable development of communities everywhere. The ITTF Foundation will continue to work with our partners to help provide better opportunities for children and young people and are committed to be part of the social change we envision.” - Saurabh Mishra, ITTF Foundation Programmes Manager.

Every child deserves better opportunities in life. T4D proves that we can do it through education and sports and that in every change, every child counts.

Find more inspiration on solidarity through table tennis.

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