This Soccer Ball Will Reach Millions of Children

PHOTO: Creators of the One World Futbol say its more durable and therefore better able to serve the needs of children in developing countries.YouTube/OneWorldFutbol
Creators of the One World Futbol say it's more durable and therefore better able to serve the needs of children in developing countries.

A soccer ball that doesn't deflate. To some, it may seem like an obvious concept, but for many children in the developing world, it's a dream come true.

In some of the world's poorest countries, children find inventive ways to play soccer without a real soccer ball. Around the world, they fashion balls out of plastic bags, fabric, garbage, sticks, and anything else they can find to play the "beautiful game," as many call it.

Co-founder of One World Futbol, Tim Jahnigen was inspired to find a sustainable solution for children in war zones and refugee camps who found comfort in playing soccer. Jahnigen discovered that, given the often rocky terrain, most cheap soccer balls that children used quickly deflated. So he developed a "virtually indestructible" ball which never needs an air pump, and never goes flat, even if punctured. The ball -- or the One World Futbol -- is made out of a foam like the type found in Croc shoes, and still has a similar bounce and weight as most leather-stitched soccer balls. The discovery he says, changed his life.

It may also change the lives of millions of others. With help from singer and songwriter Sting, Jahnigen has already made about 33,000 balls, and distributed them to organizations in more than 140 countries. Over the next three years, Chevrolet has pledged to send 1.5 million more soccer balls to children around the world. Also, for each ball purchased online for $40, another is given away to a children's organization.

Jahingen hopes to distribute millions more of these sustainable soccer balls.

"With the simple power of a durable ball," he wrote in a column for The Huffington Post, "we can all help sustain play for kids everywhere."