The project, Hope Is A Game-Changer, was inspired by the day in 2005 when philanthropist and entrepreneur Bobby Sager met Moise, a former child soldier from the Congo, playing with a "soccer ball" made of garbage bags tied with string; Moise had made it himself. Moved by the notion that even in war-torn, poverty-stricken countries, soccer is a source of joy and happiness to children, Sager began collaborating with his friend Sting and inventors Tim Jahnigen and Kevin McCarthy to develop an indestructible soccer ball that can withstand shards of glass, and sun and water damage -- not mention being run over by a truck.
This month, before the start of the World Cup, Hope Is A Game-Changer partnered with Grassroot Soccer -- an organization that uses soccer to fight HIV and AIDS -- and donated 10,000 of these balls for use in GRS's program.
But, these balls just aren't given out: every child needs to earn one. Hope Is A Game-Changer partners with several organizations to make sure each recipient learns life skills and understands the value of sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork. The goal is to distribute 1 million balls by the start of the 2014 World Cup. That's a lot of balls, and a whole lot of hope.