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Handmade Soccer

Leonie Marinovich/Twenty Ten

Associated features: Home made soccer, Kenya (Photo feature), The Peoples hero, Nigeria (Photo feature), Footballs made to last, Zambia (Photo feature), Docteur des ballons, Togo (Photo feature) and Farm Football, Zambia (Photo feature)

Location: Maralal, Kenya and Tigrai, Ethiopia

Children from the pastoral tribes of Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya are often responsible for household and community chores. Many of them do not have the opportunity to attend school.

For those who are privileged to go to primary and secondary school, their housework often comes first, and they can only go to school when their chores are completed. The offspring of the Samburu Tribe are usually put in charge of herding the animals during the day, and it is rare that they receive an education.

Faced with such huge familial responsibilities at such a young age, these children take advantage of what little free time they have. By wrapping plastic bags in twine they are able to play soccer on the dusty fields outside their schools. This is one of the only forms of entertainment that the youngsters enjoy.

As the world watched while South Africa successfully hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is inspiring to see that even in the most remote corners of the African Continent, and in the most challenging of circumstances, soccer brings joy to those who play the game.

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