For the last month, SOS youth in Kenya have worked with two local organizations, Masaai Treads and Alive and Kicking, to learn about and gain hands-on experience in leatherworks using recycled leather donated by Southwest Airlines. Through paid apprenticeships, youth have learned the entire leather upcycling process, from stripping color from a piece of leather and staining it with a new one, to cutting leather and transforming it into soccer balls, shoes, bags, and other accessories.
In addition to providing vocational training for SOS youth, the program will have a broader impact on the surrounding community. The shoes will be distributed throughout the community as part of an anti-jigger campaign, and the soccer balls will be used as part of an education program that uses sports to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Check out pictures of SOS youth participating in the LUV seat program below!
Cut pieces of leather ready to be sewn into soccer balls.
Mary, a youth from the SOS Village, concentrates as she sews pieces of leather into a soccer ball.
Steve, a youth at the SOS Village, creates a soccer ball out of the leather he has prepared.
Sample soccer balls made by youth.
This program was generously funded by Southwest Airlines. To read more about the partnership, click here.