Who could have ever imagined that a bunch of kids playing with a ball of trash tied up with strings in Darfur and Tim Jahnigen watching news footage of the game would spark the brilliant idea of the One World Futbol? But it did. Inspired by the childrenâ€™s indestructible spirit, Tim resolved to create a ball that could withstand the harsh conditions faced by youth living in refugee camps, disaster areas and other disadvantaged communities.
Tim set out to design a ball that played like a soccer ball, but would never need a pump and never go flat – even when punctured multiple times. His idea remained in the concept stage until his friend, the worldâ€renowned entertainer Sting heard Timâ€™s vision for the ball, and provided the initial funding to do develop a prototype.
In recognition of Stingâ€™s crucial, early support, the name of the ball and the company are based on the song â€œOne World,â€ written by Sting.
It all started in Rwanda in 2009, when 100 of the first prototype One World Futbols were delivered to an organization called EspÃ©rance, which works to help bridge gaps in the community through education and social programs focused around football. The durability of the 100 balls given back in 2009 helped the organization save valuable resources as they no longer had to purchase 1,000 regular footballs for their efforts.
Since that early delivery, One World Futbol Project has shipped nearly 600,000 One World Futbols across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, with a mission to bring the healing power of play to youth living in disadvantaged communities worldwide. The company has helped change entire nations like Liberia, bringing play, recess and athletic programs back to schools after a 20-year absence. It has brought the power of play to orphanages and schools in the most rural and poorest regions of Thailand. And, the One World Futbol has helped girls find their voices in places like Kenya, where women have very few rights.
From that initial moment of inspiration through today, the nearly indestructible One World Futbol has reached more than 160 countries and impacted nearly 18 million youth in just three years.
In May 2012, Chevrolet announced a three-year partnership with One World Futbol Project that pledges to place 1.5 million One World Futbols with youth in war-stricken zones, refugee camps, disaster areas, and other underprivileged communities around the world.Â To date, Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols have been distributed across five continents impacting millions of children.