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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

1 More Child empowers children vulnerable children in Jinja, Uganda through games, education & mentoring.

In March 2014 Ball Project made a grant to 1 More Child so that they could buy soccer balls for their youth sports programs.

In March 2015 1 More Child sent copies of receipts for the soccer balls that they had bought in Europe & then volunteers had brought with them only this month.

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Sorry this has taken me so long to send to you, but this is one of two invoices as proof your donation went on footballs!  Thank you so much and the boys are now well stocked with the right sized balls.  We had a long time with no visitors, but suddenly had two lots last week. 

Thank you so much for your amazing generosity and please know that there is great joy on the football field! 

Many thanks!

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Partnerships are based on relationships. Relationships are based on time + shared experiences. & effective communication is the lifeblood of partnerships.

All of these things take time. Sometimes it takes a year to get soccer balls where they need to go. & that is fine.

We are grateful for our partners around the world & their work to serve their communities & to help children by helping children play.

Help children play

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

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