Dream Building Fund powered by GSD: ITTF Foundation to Support Six New Projects

A highly competitive round of selections for the third edition of the Dream Building Fund, and the very first edition of the Dream Building Fund powered by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD) has culminated in the selection of six successful projects, who now stand to receive financial, strategic, and technical support from the ITTF Foundation.

The 2021 round of selection was incredibly competitive, with a total of 134 applications received from over 50 countries. We would like to thank all the applicants for sharing their dreams and high-quality proposals, as well as our dedicated selection panel for making the incredibly tough final decision on the successful cohort for 2021. While not every project could be selected but we hope this only encourages applicants to continue to pursue their ideas further and come back stronger for the next round of calls.

The selection process

In the first stage, each application was critically appraised, and 13 applications were shortlisted based on the eligibility criteria, project quality and capacity to have a positive and sustainable social and economic impact. Each of the projects is committed to using table tennis as a tool to reach wider humanitarian objectives linked to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The top UNSDGs emerged from the first stage were:

  • Goal 3 on Health and Well-Being;
  • Goal 4 on Quality Education;
  • Goal 5 on Gender Equality;
  • Goal 10 on Reduced Inequality;
  • Goal 13 on Climate Action; and  
  • Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions  

The shortlisted projects had the unique opportunity to pitch their projects and answer questions from the selection panel before the final vote. The selection panel consisted of highly knowledgeable figures with experience in sport for development and using table tennis as a tool for social and economic development:  

  • Petra Sorling (ITTF Vice President)  
  • Willi Lemke (Former UN Special Adviser on Sport),
  • Steve Dainton (ITTF Group CEO);
  • Isabel H. Cathcart, (Director of Operations, The Foundation for Global Sports Development/Sidewinder Films),
  • Mathatho Manaka (Rough Diamond Founder, IOC Young Leader),  
  • Georg Schlachtenberger (External Advisor and founder of the IPC Agitos Foundation);
  • Leandro Olvech (ITTF Foundation Director)


The ITTF Foundation sends its congratulations to the 2021 TT Dream Building Fund powered by GSD recipients:


Hope Kwa Vijana Mtaani (Hope to youths in the slums), Vision Changers, Nairobi, Kenya

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions  
The three-year project aims to use table tennis as a rehabilitation tool for juvenile offenders' rehabilitation. Reaching 1,000 reformed youths and Juveniles directly the project has been designed to integrate table tennis into youth crime prevention strategies by enabling youth to constructively make use of their time while reducing stress level, enhancing social development, and increasing employment opportunities.

Table Tennis for Mental Health, Integrated Community Development Initiative (ICODI), Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being  
The two-year project which aims to use table tennis as a tool to improve mental health among 600 adolescents and youth in Nakivale Refugee Settlement and Surrounding Rural Host Communities in Isingiro District-Southwestern Uganda. The project uses the buffering hypothesis that table tennis brings to conduct Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), raise awareness, and reduce stigma related to adolescents and youth mental illnesses. The project also supports early detection of mental health issues as well as enhancing referral services for those with mental illnesses to access treatment.

Rising Stars, Spin Club, Tehran, Iran

Goal 5: Gender Equality
The three-year project aims to provide a safe and inclusive space for girls to work on their personal development, train in table tennis and work towards gender equality in their community. Using role models and empowerment sessions the project targets at 80 regular girls, with a potential reach of 300 people including their families and local community. The main target audience would be women and girls, Afghan immigrants, and persons with disabilities.

Table Tennis for early-life socio-ecological responsibility, Tanjun Associate, LLP Uttarakhand state, India

Goal 13: Climate Action
The two-year project aims to use table tennis as a vehicle to raise awareness about the environment and act against deforestation in the region. The project enables the Tanjun Association to introduce table tennis in the Sport Exemplar Centre, an area comprising mostly of marginal farmers who depend on agriculture as the single source of income. The project works with children from the Paradise Academy and surrounding schools to promote table tennis as the centre sport for climate activities within the region, focuses on early age education on the prevention of deforestation, plantation activities, and efficient waste management solutions.  

TT for New Life (TNL), Naulo Ghumti Nepal, Pokhara, Nepal

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
Targeting at 120 male and female rehabilitation centre residents, the three-year project aims to assist members of the rehabilitation center in their social re-integration along with their substance abuse recovery. The project focuses on behaviour change through growth in self-awareness, self-acceptance, responsibilities, diligence and ultimately respect of the selves, others, rules, limitations, and regulations. Table tennis may additionally support the re-integration with the families, friends, and community.


Table tennis for Education, ASA Foundation - Yayasan ASA Asia, Slums in the Northern part of Jakarta, Indonesia

Goal 4: Quality Education
Targeting 20 teachers and 2,000 male and female students, the two-year project aims to develop the core competencies of vulnerable youth and adults in the slums. With the help of a blended participatory classroom workshop and youth development methodology, the project works to bring health, life skills, gender equality and circular economy education to the target group. In addition, the project also looks to recruit, train, and employ talented adult beneficiaries to lead the programme in the future.  

The new adventure now begins with the six selected projects starting with a co-design period until the end of March, and expected project start in April 2022. We are excited to support their growth over the coming months through collaborative project design, capacity building, and embedding robust monitoring and evaluation to ensure successful execution of their theories of change. It is our pleasure to accompany them in bringing the positive social change their communities need.



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