Putting smiles on the face of children , one ball, one child, one village, one country at a time.
Because a soccer ball can change the world!
Project Play Africa`s journey to Niger, West Africa for the 1st time in 2008 is proof that the simplicity of a soccer ball can make a difference for children and communities in an impoverished nation. Our goal is to continue to reach out to communities in Niger and then eventually other African Nations.
In 2008 Project Play Phase I was implemented, delivering over 2000 soccer balls to the communities all over this 5th World Nation . This effort provided access to sport and recreation for an estimated 10,000 Nigerien children. Project Play Phase II in 2010 brought 3200 soccer balls to Benin, West Africa in conjunction with the Peace Corps Volunteers who were serving there. Project Play Phase III was in 2011 returning to Libore, Niger with 2000 balls hooking up with NGO ‘Pencils For Kids’ and has been with them ever since. The director of Pencils For Kids, Robin Mednick and Mike have been working with each other for the past 8 years but have never met, when they do the party begins!
The availability of sports, specifically soccer, for play, recreation or competition has been documented to positively impact the development of young children by promoting healthy lifestyles, building self-esteem and fostering social interaction for youth with few opportunities in their lives.
Project Play’s journey to Niger delivered on that 20-year old promise Mike made when he left in 1985 after his Peace Corps service ended. We have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the simplicity of a soccer ball can make a difference for children and communities in an impoverished nation.
Learn about Project Play and how one man’s dream to return to Niger is helping to change the world one soccer ball at a time…
Simply the Soccer Ball....
Hear how the simplicity of a soccer ball can put a smile on a child’s face and enrich people’s lives
Hear Pele and others discuss the role of sports in national development and improving lives at the World Economic Forum in 2006.
President Kounchie, Niger
Niamey - Niger, December 17, 1984
"The soccer ball
is one of the
most powerful tools
in the fight against
poverty and violence."
World Cup Champion
World Economic Forum 2006