Ball Of Hope
I was placed to win the PennStatereads photo contest 2017-2018 by sharing an important message, story, or emotion of my community.
No grass, no shoes; just pure pleasure and football in rural Africa. In some parts of a small city in Ethiopia, handmade balls, similar to the one represented in the photo, were the only way to bring the community together for sport and recreation. Makeshift soccer ball represents my community and my country, Ethiopia. It shows how my community and I would not let the lack of a real soccer ball get in the way of our passion for soccer.
I remember staring at the price of soccer balls and daydreaming about using the same balls that the pros did. Soccer balls were way too expensive in the few shops around Dessie, a small city in Ethiopia. My friends and I resorted to creating makeshift balls out of trash bags, clothing fabric, and tape. These balls served as a crude but sufficient solution for a group of ten-year-olds.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Idea (hoping to get started in the future)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
"Every kids deserve a ball"
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
This problem is still around today because most of the kids in Africa-Ethiopia can't afford a real soccer ball. Soccer balls are way too expensive in the few shops around Dessie, a small city in Ethiopia. Solving this issue matters because Millions of children living in poverty will never own a real ball. Crude substitutes made from trash, clothing fabric and tape are the only option. I believe these need to change and they deserve a better life.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
If you’re always touching the ball you’re going to get comfortable with the ball and when you comfortable with the ball you’re comfortable in practice, once you’re good in practice you’re good in games. My solution to solve this problem is to donate a brand new quality soccer ball to kids in Ethiopia. I believe soccer has the power to unite races, aware self-worth and help kid’s mange with hardship and loss. This can also empower big dreams and give the next generation a reason to pursue this beautiful game.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
In 2012 I went to Ethiopia I took my soccer ball along thinking I might be able to get a few pick-up games with my local friends. When I arrived in Ethiopia where I grew up, there were a few boys standing around, so I tossed them my ball. In a matter of seconds, kids from all over the city were playing and having a good time and this was so much fun to watch and that how everything started.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
The difference between my project and other programs is different. The Ball of Hope project focus on the Youth in the community.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
My Project is still at the idea-stage and how I know that I'm making a difference in my community is seeing freedom, happiness, and love.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
My ideas for taking this project to the next level is to build an audience, take action, and expand my network, I wish to carry this project further, based on the information provided in my proposal, it will be a huge deal completing this project by increasing my knowledge and also applying things I’ve learned and giving back to my community.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
The future support that I'm planning to get from this project is FIFA Board, I believe that FIFA can understand the situation that I’m trying to solve. As FIFA stated the cooperation they will actively engage with football’s diverse ecosystem to shape the future of football. FIFA will be the primary audience for this project. They will have the final say on whether or not I am allowed to carry out the project because FIFA is vastly experienced in this kind of situation. My other support would be the community at Penn State University.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
In this project, i will be working with my older brother since he was involved with this issue.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
Frist, I want to thank God. My parents and my advisors at Penn State University and the wonderful the Abramson Foundation for all of their support. Thanks to everyone including the Penn State reds to let me share my story and to give back to my community.