June 16 2010

England football stars visit SOS Children's Village in South Africa

16/06/2010 - Michael Dawson, a centre-half who plays for Tottenham Hotspur and England, got a break from the World Cup yesterday to meet Aubrey, a 12-year-old boy at the SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg, he sponsors. Matthew Upson of West Ham United accompanied his team mate on the trip to Rustenburg.

12-year-old Aubrey and his prominent supporter Michael Dawson - Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC
Both spoke passionately of the work done by SOS Children's Villages, whilst the children enjoyed meeting the 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 site which is fully integrated in the community. Other well known players who sponsor children in South African through SOS Children's Villages include both Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe.

Tottenham Hotspurs have been global charity partners of SOS Children's Villages UK since 2007. During this period, a strong relationship between the team and SOS Children's Villages UK has been built up. The Spurs team funded the construction of a family house in Rustenburg, using players' fines to pay for the building, and the whole first team and coaching staff have taken out child sponsorships. 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's Villages.

The SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg opened in 2006 in the North West Province. The project in Rustenburg is one of six villages on four continents which were built during the joint charity campaign "6 villages for 2006" of FIFA and SOS Children's Villages on the occasion of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. As well as funding from Tottenham Hotspurs, the English Football Association contributed to the construction.