Better World Cup in Africa

Children playing soccerThere is a fellow named James Rose who I am proud to call a customer.

I enjoy all our customers, but please allow me a moment to share James’ inspiring story with you.

On May 12, James launched the Better World Cup with a set of fairly traded soccer balls from Fair Trade Sports in Kayole, a severely depressed area of Nairobi, Kenya. Each day there are hundreds of HIV/AIDS orphans running the streets.

“You kick a soccer ball into a crowd of these kids and the mood just lifts,” James said. “It’s spontaneous.”

James is an author and journalist based in Australia who has written for the Wall Street Journal, The Age, and the South China Morning Post. As an adviser to the Special Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Program, he went on a trip to deliver food to the drought-ravaged northeast part of Kenya last June. He and New York-based friend Terry Torok learned about Kayole during that trip and conceived the idea of the Better World Cup.

Better World Cup with Fair Trade Sports soccer ball“That’s in a way the gift of being something like a journalist, being put in to those positions where you can observe so closely and it’s very hard then to keep you’re objectivity because you almost become part of the story I think,” he said.

“That’s what I felt happening to me, I felt like I wanted to be part of the story and I didn’t just want to observe and write about it and talk about it, I actually wanted to get involved and do something about it. I’m here to serve now, this is what I want to do,” James explained.

“My wife is the same. We’ve got a three-year-old daughter and the usual pressures a young family has, but we just feel this is what we need to do now and this is our calling.”

James continued, “Doing what I do, there is simply no way I could justify using balls other than fair trade balls. I thank all the people at Fair Trade Sports for making them available to us and for changing the work culture for the better in this area. The world is simply a better place when kids can play freely, as they should.”

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