Football Play it Forward – in the DRPK (North Korea)

Project Description

Mac Millar is the brainchild behind “Football Play it Forward” – an Australian NGO that aims to give needy children around the world soccer balls – so that they too have the chance to play Mac’s favourite sport – Football (soccer).

This project was initiated to fulfill one of Mac’s wishes, to send 100 footballs to poor children in the DPRK (North Korea). Mac appealed to Shanghai Rotarian Randal to help and after some discussion back and forth with our counterparts in the DPRK it was agreed to send 200 footballs and 200 sets of uniforms to needy children in North Korean orphanages.

The simple aims of the project were threefold:

i) to bring some joy to children who may not have the same opportunities as Mac to play this
sport, and
ii) to use the simple medium of a football to open up greater dialogue between Rotarians and
DPR Koreans.
iii) to further the Fourth Object of Rotary: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace…

Mac Millar loves Football, and started Football Play it Forward as a personal project in 2013, at the mere age of 9, to raise funds to send footballs to the children in most need. After overcoming many hurdles he succeeded initially in sending 100 footballs to children in Afghanistan. Over the past 2 years he has built on this success to write a book, travel to India and China to promote his cause, delivered a TEDx talk, and raised funds to send footballs to many impoverished children around the world.

Mac came to Shanghai in 2014 and mentioned that one of his early wishes was to send footballs to North Korea. He gave up because he thought it was impossible but after speaking to Shanghai President Frank Yih he was introduced to Past President Randal Eastman who quickly made contact with DPRK counterparts and secured approval for a project – on slightly expanded terms.

Dr. Jong Sang Hun our long-time counterpart within the DPRK Committee for the Promotion of International Trade identified a total need for 1600 footballs (and uniforms) within orphanages and schools for orphans in the DPRK. He requested 200 footballs and uniforms be provided to orphans in two locations, Pyongyang city and North Hwanghae province where we donated to 4 institutions.