To Orwell Today,
re: SOCCER BALL GIVE-AWAY PLAN & SOCCER BALL KIGALI
I have said to myself, the next time I travel to the 3rd World, it won't be without a suitcase full of deflated soccer balls and needles (kids can go to roadside motorcycle repair places for air). I'm now finding myself leaving in 2 weeks, and just looking for balls, and not finding any that aren't expensive. I'm looking to buy about 50, hopefully still vacuum packed in some industrial plastic kind of thing. Do you have any idea of where I should look? I stumbled onto your site during my search for cheap balls.
My other option is just to buy a bunch in Indonesia. I can't do worse than paying $5 each on the internet here.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
It's godcidental to be hearing from someone today about the soccer balls we took to Rwanda because just this past weekend my 15-year-old nephew (who has a great left foot) was here visiting, and he was kicking our Rwanda soccer ball all over the place - especially at my husband who was acting as goalie.
We call it the Rwanda soccer ball because it's the only one we've got left from our two trips there during DESTINY DESTINATION RWANDA and A WANDER IN RWANDA. I love the NO CHILD LABOR logo on it, shaped as it is like a baseball-glove catching my baseball-like ORWELL TODAY logo.
We got the balls, both times, at the local sports store where my husband buys his own soccer supplies, ie shoes, shirts, shorts, socks etc.
My husband chose the soccer balls according to quality and price, and the owner gave him a good deal. The balls, bought individually, would have cost around $18 to $20 - but because we were buying 15 at a time (and because they were for Rwanda) he gave us a price of around $10 per ball.
The balls were official size and weight and made in Pakistan (not China, which I try to avoid buying anything from because it uses slave labour and destroys the manufacturing industries in all nations on all continents).
The pump for each ball cost $10, so altogether the ball and pump came to around $20. The reason we bought the individual pumps was because we wanted to give the kids a ball they could use right away without having to wait until they could find a place to inflate it. An added bonus of the individual pump is that the kids can use it to pump up bicycle tires as a side-line, turning them into little entrepreneurs.
On the way to Rwanda on the first trip it was during the World Cup Soccer tournament being held in Germany. We had a long layover in Frankfurt in between flights and we watched the game between Germany and Argentina on TV at the airport. Everyone was tossing around small Fifa soccer balls, and we got one as a keepsake:
We were cheering for the home team all the way - having lived and worked in Germany for a couple of years back in the early 70s. It was a thrill when Germany won.
On the second trip to Rwanda, the sports store donated soccer shirts which, godcidently, were the Rwanda colours of green and yellow.
Here are some photos of the soccer balls being inflated (two different trips, two different balls):
Here are photos of the balls being played with:
Taking soccer balls as gifts for the kids was a great idea - not only for them, but also for us.
And, as fun as it is to give, it's also fun to receive.
We'll cherish forever the ball made of twine they gave us - and once in awhile toss it back and forth.
No doubt the soccer balls you give to the kids in Indonesia will light up their eyes and put smiles on their faces - and yours too.
All the best,
World Cup soccer ball is a joke (Jabulani behaves like a beach-ball) & Controversy over World Cup soccer ball (dreadful-horrible-catastrophy-a disaster). Peace/NPR, Jun 16, 2010
African vuvuzela an instrument of torture (destroys hair cells in inner ear) & Vuvuzela sounds like goat being slaughtered (racism & crime replace SAfrica apartheid) & Vuvuzela madness comes to iPhone (above level for permanent hearing loss) & Cover ears for vuvuzela British invasion (people fear for their sanity) & Vuvuzela horn catastrophic for hearing (part of African soccer culture) & Plastic trumpet tops noise league (dangerously loud; far out-blasts chain saw) & Vuvuzela horns spread disease (germ droplets get blown out of end) & UK DJ sorry for World Cup Africa joke (give African $2/month he buy bloody trumpet). Global News, Jun 16, 2010. Go to 39.Torture & 40.Brainwashing
Africa World Cup Soccer just for rich, BBC, May 10, 2010
Regulations imposed by football's world governing body Fifa on host countries stipulate that no-one but its commercial partners be allowed trade or promote their products in the immediate vicinity of all World Cup sites. Clement Zulu, who has been selling ice cream for the past 25 years, accuses the Durban municipal police and the Moses Mabhida management of promoting inequalities between the "haves and the have-nots". "Big businesses who don't even need the money like we do are the ones who will be able to sell here - they can afford to pay whatever is necessary for a permit," he says. 'Poor get poorer'. Anyone who is not a commercial partner has to apply to the host city's municipal office for an "events permit". The penalties for transgressors will be a spell in jail or a fine based on the company's profit. The stadium managers declined to comment on the street vendors' comments but Fifa argues that they must protect the official sponsors from "ambush marketing" by those who would want to profit from the event without having contributed financially. But many traders say they do not even know how to go about applying for the permits. "We are being made to jump through hundreds of hoops so we can do for a month what we have been doing here for years - and that's selling at the stadium," says Nhanhla Mkhize, an ice cream seller. He says all hopes that the World Cup would improve his life have been dashed. "Now I know it is just a reminder that the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer," says the man from Ulamzi township in Durban. Billions of dollars have been spent on revamping South Africa's airports, hotels and building brand new football stadiums in some of the nine host cities - all to accommodate about 450,000 international fans expected to touch down in less than one month....
South African street children aim for World Cup victory, BC, Mar 15, 2010
Just like any other national captain, Wanda Msani is dreaming of glory at the World Cup in South Africa. But Wanda's tournament kicks off on 15 March, three months earlier than the Fifa event and for the 14-year-old boy who lives on the streets, there is far more than just a game at stake. "When people walk past us, they look at us like we are dogs. They look down on us like we are not even people, just because we eat from bins," he says, his eyes burning with anger. "They will see that we can be something." More than anything else, Wanda wants to make his father proud, hoping to be allowed to return home to the Umlazi township outside Durban, which he left five years ago, aged just nine. Since then, he has been on the streets - sleeping on pavements, under trees, park benches and alleys with only a cardboard box to offer warmth.... For Wanda and his team-mates, playing football offers an escape from their hellish lives of constant hunger, an absence of love, the threat of sexual abuse and in which sniffing glue is often the only comfort. But while they hope that football can change people's perceptions about street kids, it has also brought a new danger to contend with....
The street kids say Durban's municipal police are forcibly removing children at night and dumping them miles away from town. Some police reportedly use teargas to disorient the children and make them more submissive. City officials have always denied that this campaign is linked to its World Cup preparations or commented on the alleged abuses. They say the round-ups are driven by the need to curb crime in the city centre. Workers at Umthombo, a charity which co-organised the Street Child World Cup, say they hope the tournament will remind law enforcement officers that the youngsters are not criminals but traumatised children who need greater care and empathy than many hard-handed officers show.... Thirteen children are in South Africa's squad for the seven-a-side matches against seven international teams - Brazil, India, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Philippines, UK, Tanzania and Vietnam - at the Durban University of Technology. South Africa's team has been around for more than seven years but this will be the first time its members aged 14-16 compete in an international tournament. For many of them the five-day football tournament is an opportunity to begin a new life....
Reader Vicki asks where to buy deflated soccer balls and pumps to take to children in Malawi
SOUTH AFRICA A SCI-FI SLUM & DISTRICT 9 HERO GOOD OLD SMITHY
DESTINY DESTINATION RWANDA & A WANDER IN RWANDA
6.Super-States Disputed Territories (... Each of the three super-states is so vast that it can obtain almost all the materials that it needs within its own boundaries. It is for the possession of the thickly-populated regions, and of the northern ice-cap, that the three powers are constantly struggling. All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products.. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour. Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory... to control more labour power... to turn out more armaments... to capture more territory... and so on indefinitely...)
8.Classes of People (...Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently, a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins all over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters...
9.Keeping Masses Down (...But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction - indeed, in some sense was the destruction - of a hierarchical society.... For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance...)
10.The Rulers (... In principle, membership of these three groups is not hereditary.... Nor is there any racial discrimination, or any marked domination of one province by another. Jews, Negroes, South Americans of pure Indian blood are to be found in the highest ranks of the Party, and the administrators of any area are always drawn from the inhabitants of that area...)
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~