We asked Alive & Kicking how they make their beautiful and durable balls. They told us the following.
“We obtain the majority of our materials from local sources. The only material that has to be imported is the ball bladder. These raw materials make up the key ingredients of a high quality durable football.
The first stage is the panel cutting. The locally sourced materials are cut into hexagon and pentagon panels to create the key shapes that form a football.
Next comes the panel printing. Each panel is individually printed on by hand, using a silk screen printing process. This gives each ball its own unique look.
The balls are then stitched together by hand which helps to create an incredibly durable ball that lasts up to eight times longer than a standard ball on touch surfaces.
The balls will then go on one of two journeys. Some balls are sold (763,622 so far) either through retail stores or directly to schools, clubs, corporates, NGOs, government orgs and individuals.
Profits from these sales and additional fundraising are then used to donate A+K balls to thousands of community projects (176,504 so far reaching 7,942,680 young people).
Each donated ball is distributed very carefully to ensure they make the biggest impact. Alive & Kicking have a wide network of partners across sub-Saharan Africa who use sport as a tool for development.
Footballs are a key part of their programmes so Alive & Kicking try to support as many as possible. Each organisation who receives an Alive & Kicking ball is asked to feedback on how long it lasted and how many people it reached.
Our average over the past 10 years is that each ball will give 261 hours of play and 45 young people will kick, throw and head it!”
Alive & Kicking have just launched a new regular giving programme called AKFC. For a regular monthly donation you can receive several cool gifts as well as, more importantly, being part of one of the most important teams going! For more information or to sign up, visit the website.