3rd September 2012

Alive & Kicking is delighted to announce the arrival of African made balls in the UK retail market as ‘Balls For Africa’ is launched exclusively in John Lewis. High quality Kenyan-made synthetic footballs are now on sale in stores across the country, on a ‘buy one, donate one’ basis. For every Alive & Kicking ball sold in John Lewis, another will be donated to a school or youth project in Kenya!

To provide a personalised connection between donor and recipient, every ball sold comes with a unique tracking code, which details exactly where the donated ball will go. To enter your unique code and find out who will receive your donated ball, simply visit facebook.com/ballsforafrica.

Kenyan children have a real passion for sport but often lack suitable equipment. The donated Alive & Kicking balls will provide thousands of kids across the country with the opportunity to play with a durable leather ball, suitable for their conditions. Shown here is Lebarua Primary, a school of 300 students from rural central Kenya. The more Alive & Kicking balls are sold in John Lewis, the more balls schools like Lebarua will be able to receive. Simple!

“Without Alive & Kicking I don’t know where I would be. Because of this job I’m able to send my brother to school and to support my parents. Alive & Kicking has changed my life.” – Agnes Ondiek, A&K stitcher since 2009

The positive impact of this initiative doesn’t end with the ball donations, as the stitching of the balls in A&K’s Nairobi workshop also provides enormous benefit. The ‘Balls For Africa’ order (the stitching of the synthetic balls for sale in the UK and of leather balls for donation in Kenya) has provided almost 2 months’ work for 50 Kenyan stitchers. With unemployment a long standing problem and an average of 6 dependents supported by an A&K stitcher’s salary, the impact of this endeavour should not be underestimated.

A&K’s presence on the shelves in the UK is breaking new ground and represents a moment of enormous pride for all involved.  The concept for the initiative was developed in conjunction with the John Lewis sports buying department, who see it as an ideal gift in the build up to Christmas. A brand new design was developed with creative design specialists Perfect Day, whose vibrant ideas will ensure the product catches the eye. The designs were taken to Pressmasters, a Nairobi printing company, who brought the designs to life and produced the packaging to showcase this remarkable product.

The production of the balls demonstrates Alive & Kickng’s ability to deliver significant orders to consistently high standards. For sub-Saharan Africa to continue its rise out of poverty, a manufacturing export boom will need to take place. By combining the sale of high-quality African-made products in the UK with large-scale donations of scarce sporting equipment to disadvantaged children, Alive & Kicking is proud to be playing its part.