Soccer Fighting World Hunger
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. As one of the most accessible games to play and watch, billions of people enjoy soccer. However, few are familiar with the impacts of soccer off the field. The sport has accepted an integral role in ending world hunger through its clubs, players and governing bodies. Many casual soccer fans are familiar with Marcus Rashford’s role in restoring over £120 million worth of food aid to underprivileged English citizens, a feat that is nothing short of remarkable. However, one cannot merely relegate soccer’s impact to the developed world: soccer is fighting world hunger, especially in developing nations.

Governing Bodies

Many larger soccer groups have committed to combating world hunger. One prominent example is the Professional Football Against Hunger campaign, which the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) co-founded and signed. The EPFL represents 27 member leagues constituting over 900 soccer clubs across Europe. This campaign reached millions of fans, generating record-breaking donations to food-aid projects. In addition, the organization created a recurring event named Match Day Against Hunger, in which over 300 clubs played in matches dedicated to raising awareness for world hunger. This awareness campaign helped put world hunger at the forefront of the soccer community’s mind, in addition to encouraging action from individuals and clubs alike.

Clubs

Soccer clubs themselves also play a massive role in fighting child and family hunger. Much like how soccer clubs in England support their regional communities, soccer clubs in developing nations also assist local populations. One gleaming example is the Everton Uganda Football Academy. This facility has committed itself to aiding the communities from which it recruits players, most recently donating food and medical supplies to 50 families. Fortunately, Everton is not an anomaly: many clubs in underdeveloped countries provide food assistance, particularly to the families of their budding players. The club cannot expect players’ and prospects’ best performance if they do not have adequate nourishment; thus, there is an incentive to provide for them. Many of the world’s best current soccer players – including Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Gabriel Jesus – were food-insecure during their childhoods. Soccer programs provide not only food to young players, but also an opportunity to follow their dreams and prosper.

Players

Many of the world’s best professional soccer athletes have had humble beginnings. As a result, some of the most dynamic advocacy for hunger relief has originated from the players themselves. One example of an avid advocate for fighting world hunger is Kaká, a former AC Milan and Real Madrid star. Kaká became the youngest United Nations World Food Programme Ambassador at age 22, serving as the main endorser and contributor to the Fill the Cup campaign that ultimately fed over 20 million undernourished schoolchildren in nearly 80 developing countries. Kaká’s influence not only garnered millions of dollars to save the lives of millions but also encouraged many children to remain in school.

Colleges

In the United States, college soccer programs have also answered the call to fight against world hunger. While university soccer teams are largely underfunded – and thus unable to make large donations to charity – they are often extremely committed to issues surrounding world hunger. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s men’s and women’s soccer programs, for instance, sent an incredible 285,000 meals to Nicaragua to aid underprivileged families and youth. While monetary funds are hard to come by for many college athletics programs, the University of North Carolina powerfully demonstrates how these programs can donate time and money to do what they can in aiding others.

As the most popular sport in the world, soccer has nearly infinite influence. Especially for a massive issue like global poverty where it is difficult to recognize the pockets of solutions that some are implementing, it is essential to acknowledge how soccer is fighting world hunger. Fighting world hunger is not a task for food-aid specific groups alone, and soccer programs worldwide are helping to lead the charge.

– Keagan James
Photo: Piqsels

Soccer in Africa
The start of soccer in Africa traces back to the 1800s, during the period of European imperialism. British soldiers and missionaries introduced the game, and it quickly gained traction in mission schools. The first official game occurred in 1862.

During the 1880s and 1890s, organized soccer teams began popping up in Southern Africa. Africa’s oldest surviving soccer club, Ghana’s Cape Coast Excelsior, started in 1903. The game continued to grow in popularity over the following century. African countries joined FIFA, the international soccer association, as they gained independence from colonial rule. South Africa made history in 2010, becoming the first African country to host a World Cup.

Soccer in Africa Today

Many commonly consider soccer the most popular sport in Africa. Rugby and cricket are also popular throughout the continent. Additionally, basketball has been gaining popularity; the emergence of Cameroon born basketball stars Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam helped create a basketball fanbase. Nonetheless, soccer reigns supreme as Africa’s favorite sport.

Although it is the top sport in Africa, soccer abroad captivates many African fans. The English Premier League is a mainstay on pub televisions. Despite the numerous African teams, elite players often leave their homelands to play in Europe’s top leagues. African born players have made their mark on Europe’s soccer leagues. Most notably are Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Touré, Didier Drogba and the current Liberian President, George Weah.

Some of Africa’s most famous players have used their fame and wealth to give back to their home countries. For example, Didier Drogba, a legend in the Premier League, is an influential figure in Cote D’Ivoire. Drogba used his platform to help end the Ivorian civil war in 2007. In 2015, Drogba built a hospital in his hometown, Abidjan, using money from an endorsement deal.

Soccer Academies

The population of Africa is incredibly young. About 42% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is aged 14 or younger. This is good news for soccer leagues who are anxious to recruit new players.

Soccer academies are opening all over the continent. In Ghana, the Right to Dream academy is a nonprofit with the goal of giving young athletes the opportunity to play at a high level. According to its founder, Tom Vernon, “When a child enrolls at Right to Dream, their lifetime earning potential increases 23 times.” Upon graduation, students receive the equivalent to a Ghanaian high school degree. To date, Right to Dream students have accessed over $40 million in educational scholarships.

In Right to Dream’s 22 years of operation, more than 30 former students have played soccer professionally. For those who do not move on to professional soccer, many find attending college is an option. So far, 51 Right to Dream students have received full scholarships for schools in the U.S. and U.K.

LEAD Monrovia Football Academy is another notable African soccer academy. Rather than creating soccer stars, LEAD MFA focuses on social and educational development. The soccer academy is located in Liberia. Unfortunately, 58% of Liberian children aged between 15 and 24 have not completed their primary education. LEAD MFA uses soccer as an incentive to keep its students enrolled and enjoying school.

Africa has a rapidly growing population. By 2050, projections determine that the country will be home to over 2.5 billion people; estimates predict that a quarter of the world’s population will be living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thankfully, the growing number of academies will provide a path for young Africans to play the game they love while furthering their horizons off the field.

Matthew Beach
Photo: Pixabay

UNICEF Soccer AidFor over a decade, UNICEF has hosted its annual Soccer Aid, a charity soccer match featuring both professional and celebrity players to raise money for keeping kids around the world happy, healthy and safe. This year, the match was held in London on June 16, and raised a record-breaking £6,774,764 ($8,577,528.70 USD) in one night alone and £1,000,000 more than last year. The UK public, ITV and STV users all contributed, and the UK government matched each donation up to £3,000,000 to defend play for every child.

Helping Sierra Leone and Zambia

The money raised from the match will support the work of UNICEF to ensure that over 80,000 children in Sierra Leone and Zambia can have a childhood of play. The funding will help to provide lifesaving food, vaccinations, clean water, support for caring for mothers and babies and protect children from violence, exploitation, and abuse.

Sierra Leone’s under-five mortality rate is in the 2nd percentile, having one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. The many causes of death in children are preventable. Most deaths are due to nutritional deficiencies, pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, anemia, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Some of the attributable factors include limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, poor feeding and hygienic practices, and limited access to quality health services.

Zambia is a country with many adolescents. 53 percent of the population is under 18 years old, and many of these children–45.4 percent–are affected by extreme poverty. Almost 65 percent of children in rural Zambia are affected by three or more deprivations: access to nutrition, education, health, water sanitation, adequate housing, and physical and emotional abuse. While the infant mortality rate improved by 37 percent between 2007 and 2014, it is still in the 25th percentile. However, with the help of UNICEF Soccer Aid, these conditions can be improved.

UNICEF’s Impact

UNICEF has worked in 190 countries and territories over 70 years to fight for the lives of children around the world. Through their projects, including child protection and inclusion, child survival, education, emergency relief, gender discrimination, innovation, supply and logistics, and research and analysis, the organization saves the lives of nearly 3,000,000 each year.

UNICEF believes in the power of play and the joy of a carefree childhood. However, millions of children around the world are unable to be included in this objective due to disease, conflict, hunger and poverty.
Through play, children are able to learn how to interact with their peers and learn abstract concepts. Just 15 minutes of play can spark thousands of connections in a baby’s brain, and playing before they enter school has an impact on how they will perform.

Since its first match in 2006, UNICEF Soccer Aid has raised more than £35,000,000 and through projects funded by Soccer Aid and the UK government, they have improved the lives of 2,000,000 children and 903,000 pregnant women.

Over the last 13 years, UNICEF Soccer Aid has been able to change the lives of children by helping them reach their full potential. By bringing people together to watch a match and encourage donations, they are able to change lives in many in parts of the world.

– Alexia Carvajalino
Photo: Unsplash

Sports for South African Girls
The importance of participation in sports for South African girls is pivotal to the long-term success of not only the individual lives of young women but for the country as a whole. South Africa produces talented Olympic athletes, such as Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk, and has a love of soccer, rugby and cricket in addition to track and field, cycling and many others. Irrespective of this continued investment of time, energy and money into national sports, women continue to be underrepresented and receive the least amount of support as athletes. For example, at professional levels, the nation’s three most popular sports – soccer, rugby and cricket – have yet to establish high-profile professional leagues for women.

According to the most recent study conducted by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, of the Olympic athletes receiving support, only nine out of 30 are women. Out of the 20 coaches who are working with these Olympic athletes, only three are women.

South Africa was one of the first countries to adopt The Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport, a set of laws passed to increase women’s participation in sports. In addition, the country passed the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act to remedy inequalities in sport and recreation in South Africa by requiring federations to make necessities available for women and disabled people to participate at the top levels of sports. Despite these efforts, sports and gender equality in South Africa has not yet been achieved.

Why It Matters

For young women, equal representation of female athletes is important because it can positively influence their desire to compete in sports and seek the benefits which they provide. People can only believe what they see, so more work needs to be done surrounding media coverage and daily exemplification. Sports not only promote physical health and wellness, but they also teach discipline, dedication, determination and teamwork. These learned skills are important for application in life beyond sports and help create future female leaders.

Participation in sports provides students with the opportunity to socialize with their peers, promotes students’ health, improves physical fitness, increases academic performance and provides a sense of relaxation. In spite of these benefits, participation in sports for South African girls peaks between the ages of 10 to 13 years but then declines until the age of 18.

A study done in the rural province of Limpopo, South Africa found that 101 female students from 17 to 24 years old did not participate in sports because of five common barriers. These included: “I don’t like the dress code,” “lack of energy,” “lack of family support,” “family commitments” and “not in my culture.” Dress code remains a major barrier to participation in sports among girls in rural areas. In particular, Xhosa and Tsonga women will not wear sports attire like pants or shorts because they do not consider it culturally unacceptable.

Several factors influence the level of participation. One can break these factors down into structural, intrapersonal and interpersonal constraints. Structural factors refer to a lack of facilities, time constraints or financial resources. Intrapersonal constraints refer to the psychological states of individuals. Interpersonal constraints include a lack of partners or friends.

A Lack of energy was also a barrier which could be caused by the reduction of physical activity participation in physical education in schools, but exercise can actually increase energy levels. Lack of family support revealed that females without encouragement or support from their families to participate in school sports are less likely to participate in them moving forward.

U.N. Women and the Promotion of Female Empowerment

Systematically ingrained cultural beliefs, like dress code, are some of the reasons for a lack of female participation in sports. If these beliefs can be dismantled on a small, everyday level there is an ability to create more widespread acceptance across South Africa.

That is where organizations such as U.N. Women and Grassroot Soccer come in. The U.N. Women’s goal is to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in developing countries. These organizations aim to set global standards for achieving gender equality and work with governments and civil society to design laws, policies and programs that ensure the standards are not only beneficial to women and girls worldwide, but effectively implemented as well. One of their many goals includes increasing female participation in sports as a means to fulfill four pillars.

  1. Women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems.
  2. Women have income security, decent work and economic autonomy.
  3. All women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence.
  4. Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action.

Grassroot Soccer

Grassroot Soccer is just one example of the work U.N. Women is investing in. This program is a grantee of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to encourage young people to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS and to prevent violence against women and girls.

In 2009, it created the SKILLZ Street program in South Africa to specifically target and address the needs of adolescent girls who are at a higher risk of contracting HIV and AIDS than males. Fast forward to 2014 and 2015, almost 3,000 girls from the ages of 10 to 14 years old graduated from the program.

Many of these girls are from townships, a term used to refer to the underdeveloped and racially segregated urban areas reserved for nonwhites in the Apartheid era. Township residents have a lack of access to basic sewerage, adequate roads, electricity, clean water, education and overexposure to gangs and gang violence. The young women participating in the SKILLZ Street Program range from Soweto and Alexandra townships in Johannesburg and Khayelitsha township in Cape Town.

Grassroot Soccer’s Managing Director, James Donald, explains the importance for South African female participation in sports saying, “For us, sport…means we can build relationships with children in a safe space that they are proud of participating in.” He goes on to explain that “[it] also provides a plethora of ready images, metaphors and analogies that children can relate to. Soccer, in particular, is a powerful way to challenge norms and stereotypes around gender.”

The knowledge surrounding the importance of participation in sports for South African girls needs to be more widespread in order to improve the long-term success of impressionable young women in this still developing country. An investment in organizations such as Grassroot Soccer is pivotal to aid women to go on to become confident future leaders who can set good examples for generations of South African girls to come.

– Meredith Breda
Photo: Flickr

soccket
In the remote village community of Abuja, access to reliable, environmentally friendly and affordable electricity is difficult to come by.

The village’s primary source of electricity is produced from gas-operated generators that kick out hazardous emissions. But an innovative company, Uncharted Play, intends to change this with the SOCCKET.

The SOCCKET is an energy-harnessing soccer ball that generates electricity through harnessing the kinetic energy created when it is kicked and played with.

With the look, feel and durability of a traditional soccer ball, the SOCCKET can produce more than three hours of light with as little as 30 minutes of play.

As an off-the-grid, internally powered generator, the airless ball is designed to be able to be charged and used anywhere by any age group. Because of this feature, the ball is a great tool for school children whose educations are often hindered by a lack of reliable light sources.

James Ajah Eiche, the proprietor of Ajah Villa Community Academy in Abuja, is a huge fan of the SOCCKET. “The most striking thing in this environment that we need is light. When there is no light, how do you read?” Eiche said. “Light is life.”

In a community where soccer is a favorite pastime of school children and adults alike, the SOCCKET has proven to be a smart platform for sustainable and renewable energy.

“This is the most modern type of production of electricity,” said Eiche. “It is not dangerous. It is portable. It is not dirty.” Since being developed four years ago, the SOCCKET has provided clean power to more than 35,000 families in Nigeria alone.

However, Nigeria is not the only beneficiary of the product. Uncharted Play hopes to bring the SOCCKET to developing nations throughout the world, bringing sustainable power to the nearly 1.2 billion people who don’t have access to reliable or affordable energy sources globally.

“Just a little bit of power can make such a huge difference,” said Jessica Matthews, co-inventor of SOCCKET.

The company is so passionate about making the SOCCKET more readily available to children in developing nations that with every purchase of Uncharted Play’s energy-harnessing products, one is donated to a child in need.

“In a world where there are very few win-wins, this one is a win-win and it’s a good one.”

Claire Colby

Sources: Play, USAToday
Photo: Uncharted Play

Para-soccer Brings Hope to Nigerian Polio Survivors
Nigeria has recently reached the milestone of being polio-free for a year, however, the disease has left thousands of survivors handicapped. Although there is not a definite number on polio survivors in Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Polio Survivors has almost a million members.

In a culture with little community support for polio survivors, para-soccer has brought joy and purpose into the lives of Nigerian polio survivors.

Musbahu Lawan Didi, a polio survivor, originally created para-soccer in 1988. It was called ground handball at the time. After the Nigeria Association for the Disabled (N.S.A.S) heard about the game, it was promoted and expanded internationally.

The Women Federation of World Peace (WFWP) brought attention to the sport as well when the organization helped set up matches for the teams.

The first lady of Adamawa State, Dr. Halima Nyako, also helped in spreading the name of para-soccer. She sponsored the compilation of the rules and regulations into a booklet.

Slowly but surely the sport began to build. The Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development officially approved the Para-soccer Federation of Nigeria to be a national sport federation in 2006.

Now the sport has international leagues in Ghana, Niger and Cameroon as well as national leagues within Nigeria. There are more than 24 state associations involved in para-soccer.

Through para-soccer, survivors who would otherwise be begging on the streets are able to make some money to help support their families. “Para-soccer has been an effective alternative to polio victims begging for alms to survive,” Didi said in a speech during the National Para-Soccer Championship in 2013.

Para-soccer is also being used as a tool to spread awareness about polio and the importance of vaccinations. Every year on World Polio Day there is a national para-soccer championship.

Iona Brannon

Sources: Al Jazeera, Bloomberg Business, NBF, Parasoccer Nigeria, Reuters, Time
Photo: Google Images

FC Barcelona, Global Citizen, Gates Foundation Unite to Combat Poverty
Although athletics are intended to be competitive, they have a unique way of bringing people together; a shared love for that game or passion for a team unites people across the globe. The most universally uniting sport, however, must be soccer.

Almost every kid ever participated in peewee soccer – remember the oranges at halftime? The game is played all over the world, professionally, collegiately and friendly. The international phenomenon is a simple concept (kick ball, score goal), perhaps one of the main reasons for its timeless universal success.

Soccer is global, and as one of the greatest teams in professional soccer, F.C. Barcelona is globally recognized for its international fan base and crazy-talented players, like Lionel Messi. Barcelona, however, is not solely praised for its talent on the field. The team is also receiving well-deserved credit for its efforts to end global poverty.

The F.C. Barcelona Foundation was founded in 1994 and gives Barcelona the opportunity to give back globally. All projects developed by the organization are centered on sports and promote quality education and positive values. The efforts of the organization benefit children and adolescents of Catalonia and the world.

The recently announced partnership between the F.C. Barcelona Foundation, Global Citizen and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will empower people to take action to end extreme global poverty.

These three major powerhouses will surely make a profound difference in many lives and raise awareness about the realities of poverty. The partnership will work in alignment with the United Nations Development Goals to eradicate poverty by 2030.

Sports have the unique ability to unite people from all walks of life. Mix that with advocacy and activism – a real game-changer. Together, Barcelona, Global Citizen and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation unite to change the world and encourage others to play hard against poverty.

Barcelona just scored a stellar goal.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, FC Barcelona
Photo: FCFoundation

Arsenal_Football_ClubArsenal Football Club has teamed up with Save The Children to support efforts to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change with the #DizzyGoals Challenge.

In a video sanctioned by action/2015, another organization dedicated to these goals, two players, one coach and one mascot participated in the challenge. The athletes can be seen putting their hand on a soccer ball and running around it in a circle—similar to the dizzy bat game. Once each player completed several circles, they were to take a shot at a goal.

Each of the soccer players fell in the grass on the soccer field, making the video and challenge comical and fun-filled. Joining soccer and charity together, Save the Children and Arsenal have worked together since 2011, raising more than one million euros for the charity’s important goals.

The #DizzyGoals Challenge was created to promote awareness for the action/2015 goals and campaign, Global Goals. All organizations ask that participants share their dizzy goal in a video on social networking sites.

The power of social networks is a large part of the Global Goals campaign. Several organizations, including Save the Children and action/2015, have joined together to help end extreme and unsafe circumstances around the world. Global Goals is one campaign that asks followers to upload videos and pictures to their social media profiles.

The objective of these organizations is to raise as much awareness as possible so that these goals can be met this year. The Global Goals website said that these goals will only be accomplished if all people are clued in.

“If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. If the goals are famous, they won’t be forgotten,” the website said.

Global Goals also gave motivating advice to readers and philanthropists about change and humanitarian aspirations.
“We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality and the last generation to be threatened by climate change,” Global Goals said.

In accordance with this notion, other athletes have stepped up to promote this cause. Gareth Bale, a professional soccer player, posted his #DizzyGoals video on Twitter. The athlete shared this tweet with his followers: “Quality time with my mates filming my #DizzyGoals for @TheGlobalGoals.”

Usain St. Leo Bolt, a famous Olympian, also shared a video of him doing the challenge on Twitter. The runner can be seen laughing in the video, promoting the challenges ultimate goal—to make people smile.

Many more athletes in all levels of play have participated in this challenge, showing that sports is one way to bring people together and to promote change.

Global Goals said that this month, Sept. 25, 193 world leaders will meet to commit to change the world by 2030. They want to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and fix inequality and injustice to make the world a better place.

To learn more about this important cause, visit globalgoals.org. To view #DizzyGoals challenges, search the hashtag.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Global Goals, Look to the Stars, Twitter 1, Twitter 2
Photo: Pixabay

global_goals
Trending hashtags can sometimes be confusing and pointless. Usually, hashtags accompany a picture on Instagram or a tweet on Twitter and sometimes they are associated with different challenges. But, every once in a while, a hashtag will emerge and correlate with a worthy cause, and using it on social media will raise awareness for that cause.

The hashtag, #DizzyGoals, is raising awareness for The Global Goals one video at a time. #DizzyGoals requires a person to spin as quickly as possible around a soccer ball 13 times and then attempt a penalty shot. Many professional soccer players have accepted the challenge, including Gareth Bale of Real Madrid, whose video featured some of his friends and teammates.

Less than a month away, the Global Goals launch on September 25 in New York City with 193 world leaders in attendance, and the campaign is doing everything in its power to raise international awareness and support of the goals. The Global Goals are dedicated to ending global poverty, fighting injustice and correcting climate change through a set of 17 initiatives for the next 15 years.

Before world leaders commit themselves to the goals, however, citizens around the world must know about them. World leaders listen to citizens to understand what needs to be done; the more people that know about the goals, the more likely the world leaders are to support them.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Global Goals become famous amongst world citizens and #DizzyGoals is one entertaining way to do that.

Many of the videos that accompany the hashtag feature professional soccer players spinning rapidly around a soccer ball, and then stumbling to kick the next ball, where the inevitable dizziness usually results in an epic fall to the grass. Nonetheless, the stars of the challenge are sure to mention their support for the Global Goals and provide links to goals’ website.

The Global Goals have the power to positively change the world. Share a #DizzyGoals video to inform more people about the Global Goals, or grab a soccer ball and take the challenge!

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, Global Goals, Twitter,
Photo: Express

soccer_and_Global_Poverty
Soccer unites people. It is one of the few things that crosses social, geographic, ethnic and religious boundaries. It is widely understood and played by many. This is why Uncharted Play tapped into the love of soccer to make a difference in the world. They believed in the power of play.

Uncharted Play was founded in 2011 with the strong belief that through the pursuit of play and happiness, they could create something that “would show the world how play could be a tangible tool for inspiring social invention.”

The two founders of Uncharted Play, Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, met during their junior year at Harvard University, where they teamed up to create the SOCCKET as a class project.

The SOCCKET is a soccer ball with an LED light and a plug off the side. It has a mechanism on the inside that converts kinetic energy to electricity, which powers an LED light for three hours after just thirty minutes of play.

Uncharted Play’s first large-scale success was in Mexico in March 2013, where the largest television station, Televisa, gave out 150 SOCCKETs for free at a ceremony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtgpRo-Jd5k

However, the first big problem that users ran into with the SOCCKETs was the invention’s low durability. Uncharted Play took this into account and began making improvements. Matthews said, “We’re not Nike. We’re not Walmart… We’re a group of eight people in an apartment in New York City.” She later added, “Things may not always go right, but we are always, always, always… trying to do our best and doing it for the bigger picture.”

Since the creation of the SOCCKET in 2008 and the establishment of Uncharted Play in 2011, they have created a second product—energy-storing jump ropes—and have improved on the first.

Uncharted Play recognized that nearly 1.2 billion people live without electricity and sought to find a solution that not only reduced this number, but also increased happiness. The SOCCKETs are used to light homes and help children do their homework, and most importantly, it gets the kids out to play. Here, soccer and global poverty truly do collide—with positive results.

Hannah Resnick

Sources: Smithsonian, Public Radio International, Uncharted Play, World Bank
Photo: Development Crossing

Source via a nice article published in SoccerTimes