After eight years as ambassador for SOS Children in his home country, Belgium, Vincent Kompany is delighted to step into his new role: “I am honoured to be invited to be an International Ambassador for this amazing organisation that makes a real difference to each individual child in need wherever it operates.”
“I pledge to do all I can every day”
Vincent is not only a gifted footballer, he is also a committed and outspoken believer in the right of every child to a decent start in life. “No child should grow up alone, without love and a stable home,” he says. “Yet sadly, over 150 million children experience the fear of being alone, without love, without a family and without safety and stability.” He hopes the role of International Ambassador will enable him to do even more to change the lives of vulnerable children: “If my support can help improve the opportunities for children in South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, I pledge to do all I can every day.”
For Vincent, raising the profile of society’s most pressing issues is just as important as his footballing career. This means he is far more than a figurehead – he is an eloquent and vocal advocate for our work. When travelling the globe, he spends much of his time visiting our Children’s Villages: “I always try to visit the local SOS Children’s Village… Wherever I am in the world, an SOS Village feels like being at home. The SOS mothers, the staff, the children, they all have the same attitude. Asia or Africa, the warm welcome and the stories are similar.”
“Giving opportunities to children, worldwide”
For a man this committed to changing the world, choosing a charity was not an easy process: “I chose SOS because I believe they fit my criteria best: giving opportunities to children, worldwide. But also I got the best guarantee that my time and money would be well spent. As an Ambassador, I needed the guarantee that if I ask people to donate money, their money is well spent. That’s a responsibility. I got that guarantee, and now, after eight years of working together, all my expectations have been met and even surpassed.”
Helping children escape the difficult circumstances of their birth has a deeply personal resonance for Vincent. Born and brought up in a rough neighbourhood in the north of Brussels, his father came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the world’s poorest countries. Here, children face daily violence and the threat of disease, and have a life expectancy of only 50 years. Since his childhood, Vincent has spent much time in his father’s homeland, learning about the challenges faced by children growing up in this war-torn and poverty-stricken country. Every year since 2006, he has visited the capital Kinshasa, assisting in the construction, opening and running of our Children’s Village in the DRC’s largest city.
Inspired by a global family
For Vincent, it is being with the children, the mothers and the staff that means the most to him: “I enjoy nothing more than playing a little game of football and listening to the stories of the SOS mothers, the vision of the national director, the great things that have happened in the Village, the difficulties they encounter... It inspires me, and gives me the strength to do as much as possible. Glad to feel part of the family. A global family!”
In this video, Vincent talks about why his charity work means so much to him and explains why he believes so passionately in the work of SOS Children:
Vincent has been deeply involved in our work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - he even cut the ribbon at our SOS Children’s Village in Kinshasa. Find out more about our work in DRC and learn how you can help.