What can be stronger than the universal desire to play?

As a start, I wanted to find out more about the ‘games’ played around the world. On every trip I want to form a partnership with a school to discover what games are played during the break times. As a big football fan, I am naturally more interested in ball games.

Above all, I don’t want this project to rely purely on patronage, hence the importance of setting up an exchange, whether by sharing games of recreation, information about sport, the education system, and more generally all topics with a humanist or ecological scope; but also by ‘taking back’ an old football which will be exchanged for two new ones. So why do this? Well, because I think that an old used football is the definitive proof of all the good times it gave to the children. By collecting them through my various travels, they will remain the best symbol of this project.

How does each project start?

Where possible, before I leave on a journey, contact is made with a school where ball games are already played. Information on the chosen institution will then be placed online.

The budget per project is currently only 89 euros, which I hope to collect through donations. Each donation can be accompanied by a message (drawing, text, … You have free reign to let your imagination run but do not forget that it’s me who has to carry the backpack!) , which I strongly encourage. I will ensure that your message accompanies the new football to its new home.

Why and how to contribute?

Firstly, the project needs to be financed: I know that everyone is solicited from all sides, but did you know that under the new statute law 1901 allows a tax deduction for each donation made? These can be sent directly to the association or by completing this form

If, for whatever reason, the project could not progress, these donations would of course be returned, or transferred to another project, according to the wishes of the contributor. While on location, I always aim to post a little message to let you know how things are going, and when I return I update this website with the results.

Every contribution is important: every smiles, all the joy, all the sharing … see for yourself the results of your generosity.

From the meetings: observation, listening, dialogue and adaption are the best tools to enrich each project.

What lessons can we learn?

By observing how children spend their playtime, I hope to find out more about the games they play, which is also an opportunity to share with them some games they don’t know.

I’d like to see what place is given to ball games: are they the main games played, how often are they played and by whom?

By targeting schools that already play ball games, I want to study their importance at regional and / or national level.

And once the project is done …

Through the site, the blog and the Facebook page:

  • I’ll share everything I have found (highlights, statistics, anecdotes …) so the contributors can see where their donation has ended up.
  • I’ll publish photo diaries showing all the activities I observed and took part in on location.

Further projects linked to this one are already under discussion (e.g. collaboration with a French school, formulation of a webpage highlighting recess games, photo exhibition …) and will be the subject of another section on this site … but let’s not put the cart before the horse, let’s focus on this first project!

Mmmm … 89 euros for two footballs!

OK, I see what you mean … but you’re right, they expensive footballs. When starting this project, I thought of using footballs by all brands: 15 euros each, bargain! Then after thinking about this, footballs (often) made by children, for children, that’s a problem. So my research led me to a French distributor that ensures that no child has participated in the manufacture of these footballs. And what’s more, the balls are made of recycled materials.

So, it is a little more expensive but definitely more ethical! Total cost: 45 euros (for 2 balls). In addition the much needed pumps and needles: cost 10 euros. Each doner will also receive a large souvenir photo of the host school, estimated at 15 euros to print and send. Finally if you do contribute, some of the donation will go towards hosting the website and the
donation collection method.

If you like to travel, then you will like this project… I invite you to swarm everywhere and publish the returns via this site.

So, a little word before packing my bag again…

In this project, the football symbolizes an exchange. I really believe in the unifying and universal powers of sport, especially when the ‘fun’ aspect is still there. However, this exchange of balls also marks the limit of the project because it automatically excludes schools where ball games are not played.

To sum up the spirit of the project: I prefer not to have this project based on hard and fast donations, I’m not a strong supporter of this approach as can put the “patron” in a position of superiority or could cause the project to become dependent on the ‘gift’. The goal is not to equip all the schools in the world either, other associations already do this and do it very well. This project is built through exchange: the exchange of games played during the break, the exchange on what information about what ball games are played, and the exchange of footballs, and before this final exchange a souvenir photo is taken as a memory of the project. So a school where ball games are already played will bring much more value to the project.