August 1 2005
6 villages for 2006 - Foundation Stone Laying in Morelia and Rustenburg
01/08/2005 - The foundation stones have been laid for three of the six SOS Children's Villages forming part of the 6 villages for 2006 charity campaign! Over the past weeks, the groundbreaking ceremonies for the facilities in Rustenburg, South Africa and Morelia, Mexico were held in the presence of prominent guests including, among others, football star and former South African national captain Lucas Radebe.
Radebe and Danny Jordaan, Secretary General of the World Cup 2010 Local Organizing Committee, were on the guest list of a celebration held in the Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg in their native South Africa. In Morelia, the Governor of the province of Michoacán, Lázaro Cárdena, was among the many guests attending the groundbreaking ceremony.
FIFA president Josef S. Blatter congratulated SOS Children's Villages for their achievement in Morelia. "The family of world football - FIFA - is extremely pleased to have made a sustainable contribution to provide children in need with a new home and a family, through the construction of the SOS Children's Village in Morelia, Mexico," Blatter said, adding: "We are proud that the world of football is taking its social responsibility seriously." The children's villages in Morelia and Rustenburg will each provide new homes in a family environment for more than 100 children.
Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu also underlined his support for the 6 villages for 2006 campaign and for the new SOS Children's Villages in Rustenburg. "Due to this initiative for the 2006 World Cup, I hope the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will also be more than just a football tournament," said Tutu, adding that the campaign would provide enormous benefits for the socially disadvantaged in South Africa. "The laying of the foundation stone for the SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg is a first step in the right direction - this is a very touching moment for me."
Radebe, one of more than 50 football greats serving in the honorary role of "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador, laid the foundation stone for the SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg. Canada's former national team goalkeeper Craig Forrest, another such FIFA/SOS Children's Villages ambassadors, also attended the event in the country's northwest, where more than half of the population lives in poverty despite the region's abundance of natural resources. Rustenburg also has high numbers of HIV/AIDS orphans.
"Our mission is to give abandoned children the feeling that they form part of our community," said Radebe. "The SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg is a gift for the northwest and for the abandoned children in this area." The former Leeds United striker underlined the valuable work of SOS Children's Villages in South Africa. "Children are not only our future they are also a great inspiration for us adults. I am sure that some of tomorrow's football stars will come from SOS Children's Villages," he said.
Danny Jordaan also underlined the symbolic nature of the joint charity between FIFA and SOS Children's Villages and said: "The way in which Germany interpreted the slogan 'A time to make friends' is exemplary. This new SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg is also a cornerstone for a different Africa after 2010!"
Construction will also shortly commence on the first SOS Children's Village in Ukraine, another site forming part of the 6 villages for 2006 campaign, while construction is already underway in Dong Hoi, Vietnam. The other two children's villages, which will be built with campaign donations, are planned in Nigeria and in Brazil's Igarassu near Recife.