2010 Winner
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre
Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre
South Africa

This program earned a Silver award.


Despite the aims of country-wide development in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup, it is likely that the majority of this impact will be felt in the urban areas. Thus, Dreamfields was established in 2007 in partnership with Old Mutual and BHP Billiton, with the aim of developing football resources in more rural areas, and encouraging the development of football teams and leagues. The project has three deliverables: Dreamfields (soil-stabilised fields which require minimal watering and less maintenance) along with fences, goalposts, basic maintenance equipment, and a container for storage; DreamBags containing soccer balls, and kit for 15 players (shirts, shorts, socks, boots, and shin-pads) in the colours of the school; and DreamEvents (all-day football tournaments where contributors can meet the schools, and local football leagues can be developed). The aim is also to invest funds into the local communities. Eg. using local businesses to provide services for the DreamEvents, such as caterers, taxi associations, event organizers, and welders. A number of private sponsors have also funded Dreamfields or DreamEvents in their home villages or communities. Dreamfields also hopes to ensure the long-term sustainability of the interventions (beyond the World Cup), by becoming a resource of funds and expertise for the development of sport in townships and rural schools; and to develop low-cost low-maintenance model for building football fields.




Innovation: The project aims to make the World Cup 2010 more accessible to those in rural areas and townships; and to encourage the ongoing development of football in these places.




Effectiveness: Eight fields have been built in five provinces; more than 750 DreamBags have been distributed countrywide; and 54 DreamEvents have been staged in all nine provinces. In a recent national tournament, six of 36 champion schools were ones that had received support from Dreamfields.




Poverty Impact: Besides the benefits to the children involved in the football leagues, Dreamfields also aims to invest in the communities around the fields that are built; and this often begins by being centred around the DreamEvents. 25% of operational funding to date (roughly R11m) has been invested into these communities.




Sustainability: Start-up funding was received from two main funders – BHP Billiton and Old Mutual, who each provided R6.5m, payable over three years. DBSA provided a further R6m; while a number of government departments have supported the project institutionally. 23 corporations, 41 small businesses, eight government departments, and seven charitable donations partner with Dreamfields.




Replication: Similar projects could be replicated by other groups, but this would require substantial funding, and some buy-in from government departments. This means that it is only really possible for bigger NGOs or group to replicate it. However, establishing small-scale football leagues, donating equipment, or maintaining football fields is something that could be done by smaller groups or communities. Thus, certain aspects of the project would be more easily replicable.