Australian Government’s S4D awards give recognition to our DBF project Smash Down Barriers!

We are overjoyed to report Smash Down Barriers Tonga has won Team Up Folktale Oscars in 3 categories! Hosted by Team Up, the Australian Government’s sport for development programme in the Asia-Pacific, the annual awards celebrate the exceptional stories of impact from its partners' various initiatives.

Smash Down Barriers (Tonga), a Dream Building Fund project powered by GSD, and its project leader, Salote Fungavai, have won three out of twelve categories: Best Profile, Best Series of Videos, and Best Program Showcase!

When we congratulated Salote and her team on this incredible achievement, she again won our hearts by sending us this message:

“Thank you so much for acknowledging our team's efforts to land those Oscars :') It could not have been done without the programme, and the programme cannot have been delivered without your contributions - Team work definitely makes the dream work!”

Smash Down Barriers (Tonga) was initiated by the Tonga Table Tennis Federation and is working on UN SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities. Conducted in the rural villages and outer islands of Tonga, it aims to remove the ingrained cultural perceptions of persons with disabilities within the community and improve the quality of life for them through table tennis.

It includes activities such as their ‘Bounce it Back’ efforts, taking place in village schools to build school children’s and youths’ understanding of persons with disabilities, as well as delivering an inclusive Table Tennis Coaching Course to village volunteers. All these efforts then culminate into delivering inclusive Table Tennis programmes and engaging persons with disabilities in the remote villages.

As we continue to celebrate the year of Diversity and Inclusion, seeing a project like Smash Down Barriers receiving such accolades makes us extremely proud. We hope the project continues to grow and make meaningful impact for the community.

Click here to learn more about the Smash Down Barriers project.

Click here to see the full list of the 2024 Team Up Folktale Oscar nominees and winners.

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