Backed by the not-for-profit African social enterprise, Alive & Kicking, these footballs aim to make a difference to the people of Africa. Each ball is hand stitched in Kenya or Zambia and give the people who work for Alive & Kicking a chance to earn a fair wage and support their families. Alive & Kicking help to get children involved with sport and also to offer jobs and teach skills to people of the local area.
Normal footballs made from plastic don’t last long on the African terrain but Alive & Kicking hand stitch their balls from leather ensuring the balls are hard wearing and provide months of enjoyment for school children.
Jim Cogan pioneered Alive & Kicking first in Kenya, then Zambia and are currently due to open their third factory in Ghana.
Ben Rogers, Sports Buyer says: "We are delighted to be the first UK retailer to stock Balls for Africa. The balls themselves have a unique African inspired design to reflect the communities that they support. Every sale of a ball not only helps to support the family of the worker, providing a salary and teaching new skills but also offers children a chance to play, a luxury that we can take for granted.”
Notes to Editors
The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 40 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and ten John Lewis at home), johnlewis.com, 300 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 85,500 staff are Partners in the business.
John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013' ¹ , 'The Nation's Best Retailer' ² and 'Best Retailer 2013' ³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores. The website stocks over 250,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. johnlewis.com is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (www.johnlewis.com). John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.
¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
³ Which? Awards 2013