|Email from Michelle Stoner & Peter Thomas|
From: Michelle Stoner
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 7:02 AM
Subject: Project Play Kiota
I just wanted to attach a couple of photos to show what's being done with
the balls in Kiota.
First of all, a girl's soccer team made up of middle school students was
already in place before the balls came, but really got serious after the
arrival of the balls. The girl's team ended up having over 25 consistent
girls in it and met every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We just had
out first big match in honor of National Women's Day in which the
two middle schools competed. It's amazing how much these girls have
progressed since they first started playing. They are passing now, know
their positions, butting with their heads, and the game was amazing to
witness. Mamma of Kiota, a major religious/women's leader came to the event
as well as many other influential people, mothers, fathers, and friends!
I don't have the pictures with me now, but there are also several
out-of-school soccer teams that were born with the arrival of the soccer
balls. I love walking through my town and seeing a group of kids playing
soccer in every quarter. The balls are being put to good use as well!
We also decided to give each school two soccer balls, one for girls and one
for boys. I went to one of the primary schools the other day and saw that
the girls and boys were both playing soccer after school and the school yard
looked amazing! It's because in order to be able to use the balls and play,
the teachers had all the students clean up and sweep the school yard, a
pretty awesome incentive!
In one of the pictures, there is a group of boys posing with the ball.
At one of the colleges, the boys organized matches between every class.
Every day after school there is a match that draws a pretty large crowd of
supporters. It's amazing to see the students get so excited and riled up
supporting their fellow peers.
I have many more notes and photos that I'll pass on, but overall, it is clear
that the balls are improving the quality of life of the kids in my town.
They are being put to good use and have even revolutionized ideals and ways
of thinking-concerning girl's soccer for example. It was the first time EVER
there was a girl's soccer game in my town. That's pretty powerful.
Many blessings and thanks!
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Mitchell
To: dave stahl
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:38 AM
Subject: Peter`s testimonial
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas, PCV
Karaé, Tahoua Region, Niger
Project Play balls allowed me to start children in my small village on soccer. Originally practice and games were held at the school but we were asked to move after a couple of weeks due to younger kids writing on the walls with chalk. While I was trying to find a new place to play, the kids took it entirely upon themselves to clear a field out and to setup boarders and goals the day after we were evicted. There are two groups of boys and a group of girls who play in the late afternoons, most every day. While it is hard to get the fundamental skills across to the players, they are definitely enjoying the balls. Many of the younger players are encouraged to find they are able to best their older opponents and occasionally girls even challenge the boys.
Thank you, Project Play!