In support of World Aids Day tomorrow, 1st December, we want to tell you about the fantastic footballs being made by The Soul of Africa Initiative. You have heard about this amazing organisation's work through Sami Grover who enthused about their Khulani fair trade moccasins earlier this year.
The footballs are made from 32 panels of leather and are hand stitched by women using newly acquired skills thanks to their training from the SOA Initiative. The football is made to FIFA standards and has space for customization with company, school or club logos. For just £10 a ball you can help support young women and children in the rural areas of Durban in KwaZulu Natal, the province with the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in South Africa.The Soul of Africa Initiative is a registered charity in South Africa which was set up to support orphans whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS. The surviving family members, often young women and grandmothers, are being empowered through their employment by SOA. They work for a fair wage stitching shoes and making footballs. Many of the women have been trained with new skills by SOA to do this work and the initiative also provides childcare development centres so the youngest children can be cared for while the women work.
SOA was set up by Lance Clark, of Clark's shoes, in 2004 after a visit to South Africa brought his attention to the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS on the local communities. Since it's humble beginnings SOA has raised over $1000000 to make a difference to young lives affected by this terrible disease. Ethical shoe production obviously runs in the Clark family, Lance's son is Galahad Clark of Terra Plana Shoes.