Teenage Boy Inspires Social Change by Giving Away Soccer Balls

September 28, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. camaraderie /ˌkɑməˈrɑdəri, -ˈrædə-, ˌkæmə-/ (n.) – shared friendship and trust among members of a group
Example: The rich boy and the poor girl played football in camaraderie.

2. underprivileged /ˈʌndərˈprɪvəlɪdʒd, -ˈprɪvlɪdʒd/ (adj.) – having little to no access to money, opportunities, education, etc. as compared with other people
Example: The government gives scholarship to underprivileged children in the country.

3. eye-opening /ˈaɪˌoʊpənɪŋ/ (adj.) – referring to anything that makes a person realize something that has personal significance
Example: The short-tempered man’s act of kindness was eye-opening, even to himself.

4. for the fun of it /fɔr ðə/ fʌn ʌv ɪt/  (idiom) – for the pure enjoyment or pleasure of doing something
Example: The football team played a game with the children from the audience for the fun of it.

5. initiative /ɪˈnɪʃ i ə tɪv, ɪˈnɪʃ ə-/ (n.) – an event or plan that aims to provide solutions to a problem or to improve a condition
Example: The organization decided to prioritize the initiative to provide homes to street children.


Read the text below.
A teenage boy from Michigan [MISH-i-guh n] promotes hope and camaraderie through football by giving away soccer balls to underprivileged children around the world.

Ethan King was 10 years old when he founded the nonprofit organization Charity Ball in 2010. Charity Ball stands out among other charities because of its unique goal. Instead of basic necessities such as clean water and education, Charity Ball provides quality soccer balls to children in poor communities worldwide. At present, King’s organization has successfully donated 4,000 balls in 22 countries.

King was motivated to create a football charity when he visited Mozambique [moh-zam-BEEK, -zuh m-] in Southeast Africa in 2009. He witnessed how football was a much-loved game among the kids in the said country. Despite using balls made of plastic and string, the children happily played football in the streets. Out of generosity, King, an avid football player, gave away his own ball to the children. It instantly earned him a round of joyous and excited cheering. The children’s eye-opening response made King realize how he can help using football.

King’s father, who helped him in building the charity, shared that giving poor children soccer balls strengthens and brings hope during difficult times. Most importantly, playing football just for the fun of it teaches them to value unity and friendship.

Other organizations share King’s aim to inspire positive change through football. For instance, the Football for Development project is an ongoing initiative in Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup. Various organizations are working together to develop football projects that encourage meaningful life skills such as youth leadership, gender equality, and peace-building around the world.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

Aside from Mozambique, what other countries do you think are in need of Charity Ball’s help? Why?
·         Do you agree that playing football can really promote unity and friendship? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were to start your own charity in your country, what would it be? Why?
·         Is it good to always be charitable? Why or why not?

September 28, 2014