Hand Crafted Footballs

“Trading Footballs” has long been an integral component of the Africa Goal project, started during the 2006 campaign. Throughout the campaign, the Africa Goal team trades genuine industry-standard footballs in exchange for locally hand-crafted footballs. These balls – made out whatever materials are easily available, including discarded plastic bags, fabric, string, wool, banana leafs, natural rubber, to name but a few – are a symbol of African creativity, a passion for football and ingenuity in the face of adversity. The fact that many people cannot afford to buy a football does not stop anyone from enjoying, and finding a way to play, the ‘beautiful game’.

To date, the team have collected over 1000 unique hand-crafted footballs from ten different African countries – each with their own story. These footballs have been exhibited in galleries in the United States, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Most recently, the footballs were exhibited at the 2010 Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) and the SADC Global Village Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of the 2010 World Cup. These exhibitions have helped to fund the purchase of more footballs, share the Africa Goal story more widely, as well as raise money for HIV and AIDS projects – using football as a tool and platform for good.

During the 2014 Campaign, the Africa Goal team will continue to trade footballs along their journey – they look forward to seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of many more people receiving a top quality industry-standard football of their own for the first time.

The footballs traded previously were generously donated by Werder Bremen Football Club, SAfAIDS, Alive & Kicking and Select Ltd.

Fair Trade Footballs

Nothing brings a smile to child’s face like receiving a football, especially one who never dreamed they would own their own ‘proper’ football.

Africa Goal partners with Alive & Kicking, a not-for profit African social enterprise that manufactures top quality sports balls in Kenya, Zambia and Ghana, with the aim of promoting long-term sustainability through job creation and trade. Alive and Kicking’s vision is to see the large scale production of sports balls in Africa – to use the continent’s passion for football to boost local economies, provide children with the right equipment to play and promote health education through sport.

Wherever possible, Africa Goal encourages generous donors who would like to donate footballs for the ‘trading footballs’ initiative to make their donations go further by supporting the purchase of footballs manufactured by Alive & Kicking.

This is the first original football I have ever owned… the rubber tree footballs are very bouncy. I am thinking if it gets a puncture I will cut a hole in it and fill it with rubber from the plantation – this way it will last forever!
Martin Piri, Nkata Bay, Malawi