Michael Dawson, a centre-half who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs and England, got a break from the World Cup yesterday, to meet Aubrey, the 12-year-old orphan he sponsors through SOS Children.
Matthew Upson, of West Ham United, also visited the Children’s Village complex in Rustenburg, South Africa. Both spoke passionately of the work done by SOS Children, whilst the children enjoyed meeting football stars and getting new equipment. Dawson and Upson spent time meeting and playing with the children, and also got the chance to see the Village set up. Other well known players who sponsor children in South African through SOS Children include both Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe.
Tottenham Hotspurs have been global charity partners of SOS Children since 2007. During this period, a strong relationship between the team and the charity has been built up. The Spurs team funded the construction of a house for children in Rustenburg, using players’ fines to pay for the building, and the whole first team and coaching staff have taken out child sponsorships through the charity. The Tottenham Hotspurs Foundation visits Rustenburg annually, as part of their community work. In May, Spurs launched a World Cup T-Shirt, with profits going to SOS Children.
SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg opened in 2006 in North West Province. As well as funding from Spurs, the English Football Association contributed to the construction. There are ten family homes for 100 orphaned and vulnerable children. There is also a family support programme to help orphaned and vulnerable children and their families affected by HIV/AIDS. The SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg provides family based care for children in family houses which are not grouped together but spread around an existing community estate.