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I am home from a great week of meetings with partners from around the world.

Lots of updates, lots of conversations, lots of Five Guys, lots of Starbucks. I am always amazed by the universality of coffee culture, even though I only drink tea. But as I always say, you can’t spell TEAM without TEA.

I left the time encouraged by the exciting projects our Ball Project partners are developing in Romania, South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Niger & beyond.

Our key partners in Guatemala are working to take the photography & life skills program The Viewfinder Project into juvenile detention centers & old age homes.

One of our key partners in Nigeria is building relationships & new partnerships by lending out books like Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson’s “Rework” & Todd Henry‘s “Die Empty.”

A key partner in Uganda is bringing solar power to homes, schools, health clinics & churches in remote villages that do not have electricity.

Key partners in Dominica & Jamaica are working with a bankrupt sport manufacturing company to buy high quality soccer balls at a steep discount to empower youth sports programs in the Caribbean.

I am also working on connecting some Caribbean partners together in Haiti later this year.

As usual, I am grateful for & inspired by our amazing partners working diligently & creatively to help children by helping children play.

Future footballers in South Africa

Future footballers in South Africa

After 2 weeks of Ball Project visits in Asia, I am in Florida for a week of meetings with Ball Project partners from Uganda, Jamaica, Nepal, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Dominica, Romania, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya & beyond.

Ball Project is a resource partner with funding for balls (obviously) & essential equipment such as goals, nets, pumps & so forth. We also do our best to connect our partners with coaching & programming experts to help them accomplish their goals in the communities where they work.

Partnerships are simply two or more people or groups working together as a team to accomplish a common vision or goal. Partnerships of this sort are working relationships. Relationships are built over time on trust, communication & shared experiences.

Face to face time is always special. Hearing project & personal updates & learning more about what is working & what isn’t working helps all of us to stay focused & productive. Sometimes we talk about projects; sometimes we talk about sports or family. The important thing is simply talking & listening & getting to know each other better so that we have a better understanding of each other & open lines of communication & growing trust.

For Ball Project & our partners the common goal is to help children by helping children play.

Ball Project is very grateful for our wonderful partners working in challenging situations, usually underfunded & under-resourced simply investing in the children & young people in their communities.

Girl in Chennai India with a soccer ball

Girl in Chennai India with a soccer ball

Help children play

“Give me a ball and I’ll have a thousand kids chasing after it.” –Solomon, Kenya

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