June 10 2005
Shevchenko pledges support for SOS Children's Villages
Kiev/Innsbruck (10 June 2004) - Andriy Shevchenko, European Footballer of the Year and top AC Milan striker, returned to his native Ukraine yesterday to cement his support for SOS Children's Villages by becoming a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador. Despite having only flown in from a successful 1-0 victory against Greece that morning, Shevchenko was nonetheless full of enthusiasm for SOS Children's Villages and the multitude of children waiting for him at the Respublikanskiy Stadium in Kiev.
Shevchenko was officially presented with his ambassador's certificate, a role he sees as an honour and an opportunity to improve the situation of children living in Ukraine. In particular, he pledged his support to the "6 villages for 2006 charity" campaign, a joint project between SOS Children's Villages and world football's governing body FIFA.
The "6 villages for 2006" campaign, the official charity campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup TM, aims to collect donations for the construction of six new SOS Children's Villages on different continents. These new children's villages, which will be built in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam, will provide homes in a family environment for hundreds of orphaned, abandoned and destitute children.
Shevchenko said, "There are many problems in Ukraine and we need to improve the situation of children. Children are the future", which is why he is putting his support wholeheartedly behind the '6 villages for 2006' campaign.
More than twenty children currently benefiting from SOS Children's Villages' social programmes in Ukraine were lucky enough to get photos and footballs signed by their hero before he took part in a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and government and NGO officials regarding a new child care model for Ukraine.
In becoming "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador, Shevchenko has joined over sixty other world renowned footballers that currently support the organisation and the "6 villages for 2006" campaign, notably Ruud van Nistelrooy, Lucas Radebe, Christian Vieri, Robert Pirès and Jay Jay Okocha.