Football fever kick-starts good causes in South Africa

8 April 2010
As South Africa gears up for the World Cup there’s a lot of discussion about how local procurement could boost the nation’s economy for the better. The Alive & Kicking charity is attempting to make this a reality. Many kids in Africa are not fortunate enough to have ever played with a real football, so the goal of Alive & Kicking is to create thousands of jobs to ultimately allow every child in Africa to play with a real ball. If that wasn’t enough, the balls also carry messages warning of the dangers of AIDS and malaria, promoting health awareness. And it appears to be working. Balls are hand stitched by workers in Kenya and Zambia. The Kenyan factory has made 180,000 balls since 2004, and employs 50 people. The Zambian factory also provides work for 50 employees making 2,000 balls a month. The balls are all made of local leather, and are twice as resistant to punctures as others on the market, according to a university study. The project has twice won the Score4Africa Enterprise Award, which recognises schemes that use football to drive positive change in Africa. If South African officials need a great example of how localised procurement of materials and staff can support local communities, they need look no further than this project.
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