Alive and Kicking

Founded: 2004

Sector: Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit

Location: Workshops in Lusaka Zambia and Nairobi Kenya



Alive and Kicking is an African social enterprise that manufactures sports balls (soccer balls, volleyballs, netballs, handballs, and rugby balls). It provides balls for children, creates jobs for adults and promotes health education through sport. Based on the principle that trade not aid is the best way to help communities out of poverty, Alive & Kicking has workshops in Kenya and Zambia which are run as not-for-profit businesses and sustain themselves through sales revenue. Alive and Kicking was established with support from DFID's Business Linkages Challenge Fund, and the first Alive and Kicking workshop opened in Nairobi Kenya in 2004. In 2007 a second workshop was opened in Lusaka Zambia, with plans now in place to set up a stitching workshop in Accra Ghana. Most Alive and Kicking balls are made from African leather which makes them more robust and resistant to puncture. Alive and Kicking sells its balls through local large scale retail outlets including Spar, Shoprite and Nakumat. Other purchasers include sports NGOs, corporate social responsibility departments, company marketing departments and general members of the public.

Vision: Alive & Kicking's vision is of an Africa where every child can play with a real ball, where thousands of jobs are sustained in the production of balls, and where sport contributes to the eradication of deadly disease.

Mission: Alive & Kicking strives to help children exercise their right to play, to create employment for communities in Africa and to help raise awareness of preventable disease. This will continue to be achieved through the African manufacture and distribution of sports balls and the provision of appropriate health awareness materials for young people.

Fair Employment

Alive and Kicking employs around 150 people in Kenya and Zambia with its head office in London. The London HQ is funded through grants and donations and a small percentage of sales revenue. The headquarters is responsible for governance, branding, international expansion, and for coordinating the overall strategy of the international operation. The stitching staff are drawn from urban areas in Nairobi and Lusaka where finding employment is extremely difficult. For many of Alive and Kicking's employees this is the first time they have had formal employment, and many of them support large numbers of dependents with their salaries. Alive and Kicking pays fair wages and staff enjoy good working conditions. In 2010 the company created an employment charter to formalise its approach to employment standards, and to clearly layout the underlying social principles behind its local labour policies. Much of the wording for the Charter are adapted from the 10 principles of Fair-Trade of the World Fair Trade Organisation and ILO conventions, key components of the Charter include:

  • Non discrimination, gender equality and freedom of association
  • Contractual employment with a definitive job description
  • A fair rate of pay
  • Transparency in the decision making progress
  • No child labour or forced labour
  • Good working terms and conditions
  • Transparent and regular assessment and review procedures
  • Capacity building


Alive and Kicking carries out HIV/AIDS roadshows in rural areas in Kenya and Zambia. In 2011 the Alive and Kicking roadshow in Kenya visited four districts around the town of Mumias in the west of the country. Funded by the Safaricom Foundation and in partnership with an NGO called Sporting Chance, the road show bus was flagged off from Safaricom House on May 6th. By the time it returned on June 12th over 40 schools, and 6,000 children had taken part in football tournaments, coaching sessions and HIV/AIDS education. Education sessions were largely based on song and drama led by a group of animators called Haba na Haba. Every class visited was given a health talk by Alive and Kicking peer educators and received a set of Alive and Kicking HIV/AIDS posters and 10 footballs. By the end of the roadshow over 400 balls and 3,600 HIV/AIDS mini poster sets had been distributed. 2012 was the first year Alive and Kicking Zambia had a HIV/AIDS roadshow, with this roadshow following a similar format to that in Kenya.

In addition to the roadshows Alive and Kicking also engages in other kinds of outreach work in Zambia and Kenya working with a variety of partners. Some recent examples of such work include:

  • Orphanage World Cup: In 2011 Alive and Kicking Zambia, sponsored by the UK based statistical company Star Lizard, initiated a programme called the Orphanage World Cup. The Orphanage World Cup gave 500 orphans and vulnerable children in Lusaka access to organised football and netball competitions, as well as providing them with life skills training and HIV/AIDS sensitisation. A series of mini-leagues were held over a 6 month period and were followed by a World Cup style tournament running over two weeks and culminating in a grand final on August 28th. During the mini-leagues, health awareness coaching sessions were conducted with participating teams. A total of 450 footballs and netballs were donated and over 500 children received HIV/AIDS sensitisation. 109 coaches and teachers also received training on how to disseminate HIV/AIDS awareness through sport with this training provided by Tackle Africa a British NGO that works in partnership with Alive and Kicking in both Kenya and Zambia. In 2012 Alive and Kicking Zambia had its first HIV/AIDS roadshow.
  • Arsenal FC: On 10th July 2011, Alive & Kicking Kenya hosted a football clinic with two Arsenal FC Community Coaches at Braeburn School Garden Estate, Nairobi. As a result of the clinic, Alive & Kicking raised over $1,000 for the donation of footballs to under-privileged schools around Nairobi.


Alive & Kicking

+44 (0) 203 189 4602

Unit LF 2.7, The Leathermarket, Weston Street, London, SE1 3ER


Contact Kenya:

Address: Hyundai Godown No.3,

Behind Visions Plaza, Mombasa Road, PO Box 27641 – Nyayo Stadium

00506 Nairobi, Kenya

Office Tel: +254 (0)20 204 5481 Mob: +254 (0)714 613377


Contact Zambia:

Address: Plot 10990 (on Zamleather site)

Mungwi Road, Heavy Industrial Area, PO Box 36050

Lusaka, Zambia

Office Tel: +260 (0)211 241 538 Mob: +26 (0)975 835412