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Boy from SOS SC Kiev
Ukraine is one of Europe's poorest countries, with a low life expectancy, high unemployment and Europe's highest HIV/AIDS rate. Life can be tough for Ukraine's poorest children, and unrest in 2013-14 has added to this instability. We support vulnerable families near Kiev and in Lugansk, and provide a home to children who cannot live with their parents. … more about our charity work in Ukraine

Interview with FIFA/SOS Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko

FIFA/SOS Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
FIFA/SOS Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko

Ukrainian captain and star striker Andriy Shevchenko is one of more than 100 football greats serving as a FIFA/SOS ambassador. He is also an avid supporter of “6 villages for 2006”, the joint charity campaign between FIFA and SOS Children for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™.

Andriy, what made you decide to support SOS Children's Villages?

This is a wonderful project which immediately appealed to me and which I support with all my heart. I think that today, this is the most important kind of project because it addresses the current problems of children and really does provide help to children. The more SOS Children's Villages we can build in Ukraine, the easier it will be to find a solution for the many problems facing Ukraine's children. As a sportsman, I can be a role model for the children - it is my duty to help them.

What does it mean for you personally that Ukraine qualified for its first World Cup?
For me personally, it means the realisation of a childhood dream, and it also gives my career a major boost. Ukraine’s participation at the World Cup is not only important for Ukrainian football, it is also important for the country. The achievement of our football team serves as an encouragement for the economic and political situation in Ukraine, and particularly for the children. Our children must be at the forefront. Children are our future and the future of our country.

How can SOS Children's Villages help children in Ukraine?
Most important is that the children are given an education and a family - children need a family. Child care methods used to be very different. They were in the form of child centres, which I believe crippled children psychologically. The child care model of SOS Children's Villages, of building a village with family houses, can help solve children’s problems in a much quicker and more effective way.

In your opinion, what football team has the best chances of winning the World Cup?
I think there are 5 to 6 teams with good chances, namely Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France and Italy. On the other hand, there are some very young teams who can deliver a good performance at the World Cup. I hope the Ukraine will be among these teams.

In your opinion, what are the chances of the Ukraine at the World Cup?
The most important thing is that we are participating in this football party. Our team is well prepared to deliver a good performance. The fact that we qualified for the World Cup is already a major success. It will be a new experience for all of us. As for the results…I think it is very difficult to plan anything. But we are well prepared and will do the best we can."

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