The children were given free tickets and Manchester City T-shirts, and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the team, pose for photographs and get autographs from their favourite players. Children also witnessed a practice match as the footballers prepared to take on Durban’s own team, AmaZulu FC.
Michelle King, from SOS Children South Africa, spoke of the children’s excitement at meeting one of the world’s most famous football team: “The children, mothers and staff had a fabulous time. Thanks to MCFC for the hospitality as well as the T-shirts and the complimentary tickets. Our children were truly in awe of the MCFC team members we were fortunate enough to meet!”
Manchester City are in South Africa for a 10-day training camp, and will also play local opposition in Pretoria following their confrontation with AmaZulu FC which kicks off at 8pm tonight. It will be attended by children from the Village and forms part of celebrations for Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, which is also today.
SOS Children in Pietermaritzburg
SOS Children are a vital presence in the city of Pietermaritzburg. In many parts, conditions for vulnerable families have declined since apartheid ended in 1994, and over half the population now live on less than a dollar a day. Widespread deprivation means that treatable conditions such as diarrhoea present a greater danger, while rates of HIV/AIDS are amongst their highest in Pietermaritzburg. The dual pressures of illness and financial hardship mean that more and more children are at risk of losing their parents.
SOS Children is there for these children. We support families at risk, and provide a loving home and a new SOS family to those who cannot be with their parents. Many parents are unable to find the money to send their children to school. We make sure finance is never an obstacle for the families we care for. Whether the need is for tuition fees or equipment, we provide the support parents need to get their children into school. We also deliver essential healthcare to make sure curable diseases do not spiral out of control, and work with families living with HIV/AIDS to help them lead a normal life.
And of course, we provide a loving home to boys and girls who have lost their parents, such as those who were fortunate enough to meet the Manchester City team yesterday.