While the World Cup is an incredible event, and one of the most viewed sporting events in the world, sometimes those less fortunate get left out of the excitement. Thanks to the efforts of the Hope Is a Game-Changer Project, adidas won’t be the only ones sending hundreds of soccer balls to South Africa this summer.
Philanthropist and photographer Bobby Sager, founder of the Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow, met Moise in 2005. As a seven year old, Moise was a soldier in the Congo. While on a visit there, Bobby photographed Moise and his prized possession, his “soccer ball” (seen to the right).
For most of us, we’d probably look at the plastic garbage bags and twine rope that ties it together, and toss it towards the nearest garbage can. For Moise though, it was much more. This makeshift ball was an escape from the struggles of being forced to grow up so quickly. This ball gave Moise what most kids would dream of at that age, simply a chance to play the game. A chance to be a kid. A chance to escape from real life where he had killed three people in the war at the age of seven.
We’ve all seen the images from the late night infomercials that tug at our hearts with photographs from war-torn and hungry children. Imagine seeing it in person, up close and personal. Imagine Moise, at an age barely old enough to go to school, fighting in an endless war. You can imagine that the images that ran through Sager’s mind were indescribable. He had to do something about it.
Inspired by Moise and his soccer ball, Bobby Sager teamed up with musician, philanthropist and friend, Sting, to do something incredible.
Sting had previously used Sager’s photographs for a Police reunion tour, more specifically as the backdrop images for the song Invisible Sun, which in itself is an anthem of hope.
Together they enlisted inventor Tim Jahnigen to create an indestructible soccer ball. A soccer ball that would not only withstand the harshest of conditions, but one that would represent the hope that Moise’s mishmash of garbage bags and string represented to young Moise.
While to most of us, a soccer ball may not mean much, to Moise and the children of struggling nations, they mean much more. These soccer balls can withstand the glass and garbage that line the dirt roads they live and play in.
In an effort to teach the fundamentals of life that can be learned through the game of soccer; discipline, teamwork, citizenship, knowing how to give constructive feedback, and being a supportive friend, the Hope Soccer Ball is much more than just a soccer ball. Thanks to partners around the world, the Hope is a Game-Changer Project will educate and give opportunity to those kids that earn a ball. Working with the partners, kids can trade in their old beaten up and makeshift soccer balls in for a new indestructible Hope Soccer Ball by setting goals around team dynamics and sportsmanship. By setting goals and educating the kids, the Hope partners are able to create a more meaningful and powerful attachment to the Hope Soccer Ball, and help teach life skills at the same time.
Bobby has created an easy way for those that would like to make a difference and a way for anyone to send a Hope Soccer Ball to underprivileged children. With every purchase of the appropriately named, The Power of the Invisible Sun book, a Hope Soccer Ball will be sent to a child in a struggling environment. All of Bobby Sager’s proceeds from The Power of the Invisible Sun go towards the Hope is a Game-Changer, making it a tangible way for people to deliver hope from anywhere in the world.
To read more on the Hope is a Game-Changer Project visit the website, www.poweroftheinvisiblesun.com.