Coach Sara from The Football Club Social Alliance celebrates the One World Futbols with the kids in her community (Uganda). Image © 2013 The Football Club Social Alliance.
It's hard to believe it's already been three years since we first launched One World Futbol Project. The challenges have been far harder than we expected, the impact has been far greater than we could have hoped for and the team and teamwork are more important than ever.
The idea of the One World Futbol came out of a flash of insight inspired by one of humanity's most threatened and neglected fundamentals: Play and the universal need to do it.
While watching a news clip of refugee kids in Darfur playing soccer with a ball made of trash, it hit me. These kids didn't just deserve better, they absolutely had to have better. I was inspired to create a ball that didn't need a pump and that could endure through the harshest terrains where many of the world's children have to play. My inspiration remained a dream, until it came up in an exchange of ideas with Sting, whom I'm honored to call friend. With his unique brilliance he immediately understood what a nearly indestructible ball could do, and offered to help make the dream a reality.
And the One World Futbol was born.
We launched One World Futbol Project in 2010 with the hope of setting into motion something that would have a positive impact on generations to come. And what we've seen since the beginning has been beyond expectations.
With One World Futbols as part of their programs, Coaches Across Continents and HODI use sport to teach life skills to young women in Marsabit, Kenya. Photo Credit: Kevin O'Donovan.
In just three years:
• We've helped girls find their voice in the far reaches of Kenya... and show them they have the power to make their own choices in life.
• We've helped create community and collaboration in Haiti... where resources are scarce and trust is nearly nonexistent.
• We've provided courage and joy to the members of the Sierra Leone Amputee Soccer League... to help them heal, laugh and recover from the horrors of civil war.
Stories like these come from across the globe in every community that the One World Futbol has reached. But no matter how desperate the situation, no matter where we go, the heroic potential of children is everywhere -- and the joy and hope we see in their eyes when they play is truly inspirational.
In Colonia Quetzaltepec, 7-year-old twins couldn't wait to play with One World Futbol right after the rain. Photo by: Nicholas Hammond.
We are thrilled to announce that more than 500,000 One World Futbols have been distributed in more than 160 countries, bringing the joy and healing power of play to millions of children around the world.
We've been fortunate to work with and create a strong global network of organizations, individuals and partners, including Chevrolet, our founding sponsor, who are helping us deliver 1.5 million One World Futbols over three years, in order to strengthen and improve quality of life and community.
Together with our networks and supporters, we help to sustain the greatest natural resource on the planet -- the spirit and soul of children everywhere. But we are just at the beginning of this incredible journey. You are hereby officially invited to help us turn the whole world into a field of play. What's around the corner will be amazing. Are you ready to get in the game and play?