Third world exploitation is nothing new. Everybody knows about it and you’re probably sick of hearing it. If you live in an industrialized country, you pretty much constantly profit off it. If you wanttoor not. Everybody knows it’s wrong. Unfortunately, our simple little minds are ignorant enough to just forget about things we don’t like. Especially if we’re not directly confronted with them. That being said, we are no different. Do not feel attacked.Unfortunately for many people in this world, life is not just about putting a basketball through a hoop. Many people suffer, whether it’s because of poverty, diseases, hunger or simply because they happen to be born in the wrong countryat the wrong time. So, just to make things clear:Yes, we promote basketball, sports, a healthy lifestyle and much more. Yes, we sell BÖLLE merchandise and organize legendary events. BUT we also want you to be aware that there is more to it. We all share the privilege of having been born in the right place at the right time. We want to share humbleness, gratefulness, and compassion. Therefore, we decided to launch a project in Guinea, Africa. It allstarted with a simple, naive idea. “Hey if we make some money with BÖLLE, let’s give back to where it’s needed the most”. No plan, no know-how, just a simple idea. And look where we are now.
THE GUINEA PROJECT1.0(2021)
The plan was that Malik and Vid both head down to Africa. In a crazy turn of events Vid, who played for the Basel Starwings at that time, achieved theunexpected. As thefirst team from the German speaking part of Switzerland in history, the Starwingsreachedthe Swiss Basketball Finals. The feelings were mixed but BÖLLE ISCH LEBE. At the end of the day Team BÖLLE delivered on both ends of the court. Malik was going to his country of origin to build the new basketball court, while Vid competed in the Finalsin his rookie season as a pro.There were many unknown variablesand many sleepless nightsbut with dedication and resilience anything is possible.In the end everything went smooth and just as planned. The court was built, the money was used to its fullestand even on a personal level there was a lot of growth.
The first time going back to my father’s country, Guinea, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So much lost potential, so much pain,but so many beautiful souls. Itwasa weird feeling. Why the hell would I deserve to study in Switzerland,literallythe richest country in the world, while my dad barely went to school? How the hell can I complain so much about my life,about irrelevant problems and materialistic crap,while other people barely survive? I felt ashamed. What a strange situation to be in. In Guinea everybody thought I was rich. Which is relatively true, but in absolute terms not true at all, as I found myself eating 5.-pasta in my student dorm soon after my returnto Switzerland
THE GUINEA PROJECT 2.0 (2022)
Round two! We were very happy to announce that BÖLLE as a whole was going back to the basketball court in Guinea. This time Malik and Vid were able to go together just as planned. We organized a camp for all the local players, sharing the love for basketball. The close ties to Malik’s family in general allowed for another successful mission. The court was partially damaged because of heavy rain falls and some harsh weather conditions. We were able to find access to some rare much more resilient paint which is much more weather resistant. After the minor but necessary works we officially reopened the court and held an event for the local community. Due to our connections, we were able to invite Guinea’s U20 national team to play against the school we supported. The local team received official BÖLLE jerseys to compete the upcoming season. Of course, we provided free food and drinks to everyone as always and had a local dance crew put on a show. Once again it was magical, and the support was unreal. Vid fell in love, and we can’t wait to be back once more with even bigger plans.