Unless money is diverted from more useful projects to buying balls?
I don't have enough information to say. Personally, I think this is a good project.
Fair enough. If this project siphoned off money that would have been used to provide food or medical aid then it could be seen as a waste. But it sounds like there is a mix of corporate sponsors providing money and a One Laptop Per Child style "buy two, get one" program for the general public.
It's like giving them a fish instead of a fishing pole…
If we will provide them food, they'll grow even more dependent on us :/
Is that fair?
Is it as important as teaching children how to farm their own food? It is very difficult to learn when you are not having fun. Children -- even adults -- learn best from play. I don't see the harm in having something that brings the neighborhood kids together.
There's also a big myth that people of the Third World don't know how to farm, don't know how to feed themselves. In the past, NGOs have brought in modern farming technologies that ultimately devastated the local environment and the ability for the communities to feed themselves. It's been a big problem, it isn't just about those "lazy" and "ignorant" Third World farmers who don't know how to farm and feed themselves.
Projects like the Open Source Ecology are much better suited for ... "teaching them how to farm their own food", and they need people. If you're concerned about this one entrepreneur and want to do something about it, see what you can contribute to OSE.