It started with an inspiration—to help youth living in the toughest conditions play to their hearts’ content through an ultra-durable soccer ball. In 2006, inventor Tim Jahnigen was watching news footage of refugee youth in Darfur playing a soccer game using a ball of trash tied up with twine. At that moment, Tim recognized the global need for a nearly indestructible ball that could be used anywhere without becoming worn, waterlogged or deflated—and that would withstand the harsh conditions often facing youth in some parts of the world. With this spark of inspiration and some initial research and development funding from world-renowned entertainer Sting, the ultra-durable One World Futbol was born.
In 2010, Tim and his wife, Lisa Tarver, founded One World Futbol Project to bring the transformative power of play to youth living in the harshest conditions through the One World Futbol. The One World Futbol was just the beginning. The impact of our efforts showed us that the need for play was something much greater. We discovered play’s critical role in the lives of people all over the world—and where play can take us all tomorrow. In November 2014, we expanded our mission, products and services, and we are now One World Play Project.
The mission of One World Play Project is to support, enable and expand the transformative power of play in all its forms—anywhere and everywhere.
Play is in our DNA. It is the underlying source of our physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional health—a need as important as food, medicine and shelter. Hope, opportunity and optimism come from play. Regardless of geography or culture, through play we become stronger individuals, build better communities and create a more positive future. Through the power of play, we believe the potential for human innovation and evolution grows exponentially—on a scale that could far surpass anything we’ve ever seen. Where play happens, change happens.
One World Play Project
One World Play Project makes, sells and distributes products and services to enable play around the world, especially for those living in the harshest environments where play is nearly non-existent. We are a B-Corporation and harness the power of business to ignite social change. Collaborating with sponsors, organizations and individuals, we work to bring the transformative power of play to disadvantaged communities where play and sport are used to impact and empower youth and their communities. To date, One World Play Project has brought the power of play to more than 35 million youth worldwide.
In May 2012, Chevrolet became the founding sponsor of One World Play Project, pledging to support the donation and distribution of at least 1.5 million Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols worldwide over three years. Together, we celebrated the donation of the one millionth Chevrolet-sponsored One World Futbol in South Africa (September 2014) and are collaborating to bring many more play opportunities to those who need it most.
One World Play Project is headquartered in Berkeley, CA with regional offices in Asia, South America and Africa.