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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

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

condoleeza

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s second annual Forum on Global Development on April 29th, 2013.  Rice is expected to discuss the importance of foreign aid and its role in U.S. national security and diplomacy.  The Forum on Global Development comes at a key time as budget talks are going on and the world is facing 1000 days until the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Millennium Challenge Corportation was founded by the U.S. Government with the goal to work with some of the poorest countries in the world. MCC believes that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty. 

In addition to Condoleezza Rice, the Forum on Global Development will also honor four award recipients at the event.  The Millennium Challenge Corporation will recognize Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont with its Corporate Award. Green Mountain has worked hard to partner with local NGOs to promote sustainable community development, to diversify incomes of coffee roasters, and to advance food security.

The MCC will recognize Sophia Mohapi, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Account in Lesotho, with their Country Commitment Award. Mohapi facilitated a commitment by Lesotho’s government of $150 million to poverty-reduction programs.

The last award, the MCC’s Next Generation Award, will go to Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, founders of Uncharted Play. Matthews and Silverman are working hard to advance youth innovation and leadership through international development. Their flagship product is SOCCKET, a soccer ball that stores kinetic energy to provide light for those living without electricity.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: The Sacramento Bee
Photo: Veteran’s Today