1983 – Paddy O’Malley, one of the most influential people that Mike Mitchell ever knew and also a former team mate of his (Chico State Soccer & San Francisco Glens) told him just before he left for his Peace Corps service to Niger, West Africa – “pack as many soccer balls as possible and bring them with you to Niger, you are going to one of the poorest regions in the world”, that’s how it all started.
1992 – Mike Mitchell finishes his Master’s degree thesis: “A manual for the implementation of Project Play Niger”.
2015 – Delivered over 17,700 balls to date.
100,000 kids in 1400 schools are now a part of Project Play Soccer for the next 50 to 100 years as the 11,700 One World balls delivered last year are the most durable ball in the world.
If a child can play they won’t fight. If a child can play it will give them HOPE. Help us eliminate generational poverty and violence!!!
For more info on the story of Project Play please watch this short video:
2016 – World Thinking Day in Pleasanton
Recycled Plastic Bag Soccer Nets
James Mas (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer 2007-2009) came up with the idea to make soccer nets out of plastic bags littering the country side surrounding his post in Dosso, Niger back in 2008 when he got actively involved in Project Play (see video). Today we will take his idea to the next level as the biggest change I saw after my departure in Niger (1985) after 23 years was the amount of garbage I saw littering the landscape, it was very sad but thanks to James and his creativity we turn a negative into a positive” Mike Mitchell (RPCV Niger 1983-85).