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Man City kick off The Hong Kong Friends of SOS Children

Meryl Davies and Susan Li receive the first donation
Meryl Davies and Susan Li receive the first donation

Last month saw the launch of an exciting new SOS Children supporters’ group: The Hong Kong Friends of SOS Children. Present at the launch event was Manchester City FC team captain and SOS Ambassador Vincent Kompany, who fielded questions from the press and recorded a special message for the launch itself.

The event was supported by Manchester City, BT, and Pinsent Masons and took place on Thursday 25th July at the spectacular Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, overlooking Hong Kong’s splendid harbour and the Chinese mainland. It was attended by many of SOS Children’s corporate partners and their guests. Amongst our guests was Bloomberg TV anchor Susan Li, who has joined us as an SOS Ambassador and will be key in helping us expand our supporter base in Hong Kong.

The driving force behind The Hong Kong Friends of SOS Children was the generosity of our supporters in Hong Kong, who have been donating to SOS Children via the UK for some time. Many of SOS Children’s corporate partners also have offices in Hong Kong, and a dedicated supporters’ group will enable our donors in this key city to offer better support to vulnerable children and families.

SOS Children’s Director of Fundraising Meryl Davies spoke passionately about the vital work SOS Children is doing for communities in East Asia and around the world: “Each of us has children we care about.  If you strip away our education, our employment, our opportunities, and the chances we have been given in life, what you are left with is someone who cares desperately about their children but has very little hope of keeping them safe.  Our community programmes, working with the poorest of families, give back that hope”.  Kevin Taylor, President of BT Asia, Africa and Middle East, spoke of his visit to just such a programme in Cape Town, South Africa.  Vincent Connor or Pinsent Masons talked of the long term partnership the firm has with SOS Children and Tom Glick of Manchester City FC re-iterated the Club’s pride in working with SOS Children in China.

Vincent Kompany: Why SOS Children is the charity for him

Answering questions from the press, Vincent Kompany talked about why he began supporting SOS Children and his passion for the work we do.

HK launch event - group shot“This is a charity I've been supporting for I think over 10 years now,” he told the South China Morning Post. “One of the things that they were asking me was to go to Congo to see the work they were doing. As soon as I saw the village in Rwanda and the second one in Congo, I realised those were the kinds of projects I liked to support.

“Youth is always the future of any country. Sometimes if you forget about those who are most in need you actually miss out on the opportunity of creating great human beings and SOS gives that opportunity.”

He added that his support for SOS Children went beyond his footballing success: “You don't need to earn a lot of money to do something for the people next to you. I didn't start doing this because I'm a football player, my family did it before and we didn't have a lot of money. I think it has to be something that is part of your education for good.

“With this organisation the best thing about it is you know all the money, every penny that you spend goes to the right projects. That was difficult, especially in the countries where they work, it's not always guaranteed.”

Thanks to the generosity of all our friends in Hong Kong, the launch of The Hong Kong Friends of SOS Children marks the beginning of a new fundraising era in support of the 2 million people around the world who rely on our help.