Better in terms of durability.
The children, he learned, used trash because the balls donated by relief agencies and sporting goods companies quickly ripped or deflated on the rocky dirt that doubled as soccer fields. Kicking a ball around provided such joy in otherwise stressful and trying conditions that the children would play with practically anything that approximated a ball.
“The only thing that sustained these kids is play,” said Mr. Jahnigen of Berkeley, Calif. “Yet the millions of balls that are donated go flat within 24 hours.”
The solution was a foam similar to what is used in Crocs.
[H]e happened to be having breakfast with Sting, a friend from his days in the music business. Mr. Jahnigen told him how soccer helped the children in Darfur cope with their troubles and his efforts to find an indestructible ball. Sting urged Mr. Jahnigen to drop everything and make the ball. Mr. Jahnigen said that developing the ball might cost as much as $300,000. Sting said he would pay for it.
An interesting logistical issue is also brought up: the balls are more difficult to ship than traditional balls, because they can’t be deflated (the reverse of a certain balloon issue I’ve run into)
If you are so inclined, you can go to the website and buy a ball for about $40, in which case one will also be donated, or you can donate one for $25.