They Give Out Free Soccer Balls, Spread Joy in Africa

I love this idea. A man named Mike Mitchell has come up with a perfect way to make thousands of people’s lives better. He’s bringing 2000 soccer balls to give out to kids in Togo. Here’s how he explained it in a story in the SF Bay Area San Mateo Times:

“And why not? You have a soccer ball underneath your arm, and they come around you like a magnet of good energy, not terror, fear or violence. Mitchell, who is now 51 and lives outside San Paulo Brazil, understands that soccer is the universal language.”

He found a common ground among the people who live in the impoverished village of the Republic of Niger in Western Africa. In February, Mitchell and his team went back to deliver 2,016 soccer balls in about 20 villages while implementing Project Play Niger.

“The kids were in disbelief when we showed up out of nowhere and gave them a ball, said Dave Stahl, of Project Play. Ït gave them hope, said the 53-year old Stahl. They got the idea from a meeting with then Nigerian president Seyni Koutche. It took the group years to raise the $35,000, much collected from Project Play benefits around San Mateo County.

Getting the balls into the country was hard, because trucks don’t go where they wanted to distribute them. Next they plan a similar campaign to the nation of Togo, bordering Ghana.