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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:48 AM

Joy That Lasts, on the Poorest of Playgrounds

One great feel-good story!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/giving/the-one-world-futbol-promises-a-lasting-source-of-fun-in-poor-countries.html?hp

Joy That Lasts, on the Poorest of Playgrounds

By KEN BELSON
Published: November 8, 2012


Nicholas Hammond
The One World Futbol stays inflated, even when used on concrete in El Salvador.


SOMETIMES a soccer ball is more than just a ball. Sometimes, it’s a lifesaver.

Tim Jahnigen has always followed his heart, whether as a carpenter, a chef, a lyricist or now as an entrepreneur. So in 2006, when he saw a documentary about children in Darfur who found solace playing soccer with balls made out of garbage and string, he was inspired to do something about it.

The children, he learned, used trash because the balls donated by relief agencies and sporting goods companies quickly ripped or deflated on the rocky dirt that doubled as soccer fields. Kicking a ball around provided such joy in otherwise stressful and trying conditions that the children would play with practically anything that approximated a ball.

“The only thing that sustained these kids is play,” said Mr. Jahnigen of Berkeley, Calif. “Yet the millions of balls that are donated go flat within 24 hours.”

snip//

Then he happened to be having breakfast with Sting, a friend from his days in the music business. Mr. Jahnigen told him how soccer helped the children in Darfur cope with their troubles and his efforts to find an indestructible ball. Sting urged Mr. Jahnigen to drop everything and make the ball. Mr. Jahnigen said that developing the ball might cost as much as $300,000. Sting said he would pay for it.

“Even on the harshest of terrain and in the worst of conditions, the ball could survive and the kids could still play,” Sting said in a public service announcement he made with Mr. Jahnigen. “I said, wow, yeah, let’s make it.”


snip//

In time, Mr. Jahnigen said, he hopes to get millions of other balls into the hands of children.

“A child can play to their heart’s content where there are no content hearts,” he said. “We don’t understand that having a ball is like the best PlayStation 3 or a rocket to Mars.”

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Reply Joy That Lasts, on the Poorest of Playgrounds (Original post)
babylonsister Nov 2012 OP
Stargazer09 Nov 2012 #1
FSogol Nov 2012 #2
Melinda Nov 2012 #3

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:03 AM

1. That made my day.

Thank you.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:05 AM

2. K & R. Thanks for posting. n/t

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:13 AM

3. Okay, this is some seriously sweet stuff. From a simple observation, this man changes millions of

kids lives. I am so moved, so touched, so wiping this water from my face so I can read the article again. Blessings to these men, and thank you babsis for posting this wonderful article. I can't begin to say how many balls we've gone thru at the non-prof were I work, and how much it hurts when the kids ask for balls we don't have due to lack of funding or no funding...

From the article "A child can play to their heart’s content where there are no content hearts...” Mr. Jahnigen and Sting have literally made a huge difference in this most often ugly world. They have certainly warmed hearts this morning.

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