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Footballs made to last (RM)

Richard Mulonga/Twenty Ten

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

Location: Lusaka, Zambia

The shortage of footballs for African children to play with, a lack of awareness about preventable diseases, unemployment, and no basic skills training in poor communities were the contributing factors to the establishment of Alive and Kicking Zambia.

The company makes hand-stitched leather footballs that carry health messages on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. They are durable, educational and recreational.

Alive and Kicking also creates employment for male, female and physically challenged stitchers, who have a target of three footballs each per day.

Many organisations at work in Zambian communities are using football as an avenue to educate locals on the issues surrounding diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In the run up to the FIFA World Cup soccer showcase in South Africa, it is a particularly opportune time for companies like Alive and Kicking to reach children both locally and nationally, and make a significant impact on their future.

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