Every now and then in life an opportunity comes along and you just know you have to do something about it. An opportunity to put words and good intention into action. An opportunity to do the right thing. And a chance to do something that really matters. When that happens, you just have to grab it. You have to think now is the time. There might not be another.
So, in November, I shall be going to Africa. I’ll be heading out to Tanzania with The Great Football Giveaway, the charity that distributes footballs to some of the most disadvantaged children in the world. Rather than just volunteer, I’ve decided to lead a small team to help the charity get to a different area of the country, and reach more kids. And I’d like you to come with me.
The Great Football Giveaway have a gloriously simple proposition:- no kid should be denied the chance to kick a ball about – it’s one of life’s most simple pleasures. So each year they ship a container load of footballs, netballs, pumps and repair kits out to a different country in Africa and hand deliver them to kids in some of the remotest areas. Every ball has a message from the person that bought it, and goes direct to kids in schools, orphanages or even just by the side of the road. As well as spreading a huge amount of happiness, the footballs help draw kids into education, off the streets and into care. This short film explains it far better than I can so please, take 3 minutes to watch it.
I’m leading a small team of three or four people, so I need a minimum of two people to come with me. It doesn’t matter where you’re from (you can meet me out there). What matters is that you believe in what we’re doing. It will involve you raising some money through people buying footballs (it’s not an onerous amount). It will involve paying for a return flight to Tanzania. It will involve being out in Tanzania for just over a week, in early to mid November, driving out into some of the more remote, rural areas and visiting schools, orphanages and anywhere else that kids need footballs and netballs to play with.
There are many reasons for doing this. For me, I love the simplicity behind this idea. It somehow seems right that in the year that the World Cup came to Africa for the first time, and the industry I work in spent billions of dollars around it, that I should do something (however small) for some of the kids on the continent that didn’t see any of the benefit. And its a chance for me to give something back which, when I started working for myself, I promised myself I would devote some of my time to doing.
I’m sure you’ll have your own reasons. But the important thing is that you do something about it. So please, do all you can to help spread the word and make as many people aware of this opportunity as possible. And if you’re interested in coming with me to Africa to spread some happiness, get in touch. I will provide you with more information. I would love to think that we could put together a team (or two?) from the advertising and media industry, from the plannersphere. It would be a great thing. Go on. Do it.