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Unless money is diverted from more useful projects to buying balls?

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.

I also think that this durable ball is actually a savings as it will last many lifetimes of previously donated inflatable balls.

One could make the (admittedly flimsy) argument that a proper ball could reduce injuries caused from improvising balls from refuse, and lessen the need these kids might have for medical attention resulting from which.

Fair? I don't think so: the "waste" is providing the money for food, instead of teaching them how to farm their own food, teaching them where and how to build good well. And the most important (so I think) – Giving them their original African seeds instead of our weaker and GMOded one

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?

Yes, there are things lower down on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that should be addressed. However, it is not the only thing. I grew up in an international community in the US, playing street soccer with people from different nationalities. We didn't play with trash. But I can tell you first-hand, being able to bond with other kids (of different ages) and having fun is very important.

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.

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