December 28 2005
Foundation stone laying ceremony at SOS Children's Village Igarassu/Brazil
27/12/2005 - On 26 December, SOS Children's Village Igarassu (about 30 kilometres from Recife, Brazil) celebrated its foundation stone laying ceremony. It will be the fifteenth children's village in Brazil and one of six constructed worldwide as part of the 6 villages for 2006 campaign, in co-operation with FIFA.
Attending the ceremony were "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador Juninho Pernambucano, senator and former Brazilian Vice-President Marco Maciel, the Vice-Governor of the state of Pernambuco, the mayor of Igarassu and many dignitaries from the federal government.
Two musical bands played their rhythmic songs for the many visitors from both Recife and the surrounding communities, making the day's experiences unforgettable. The press and television stations from Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, covered the day's festivities. Georg Rodenbach, Media and Public Relations manager in the Continental Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and spokesman for the co-operation of "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages", read a greeting on behalf of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter:
"It is both an honour and a pleasure for me and for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association to be able to talk today about FIFA's partnership with SOS Children's Villages and on the fascinating task of creating a new SOS Children's Village in Recife, in the land of the defending World Champions, Brazil. The slogan of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, 'A Time to Make Friends™', might expand and result in making many friends for SOS Children's Villages. The 2006 FIFA World Cup™ represents a great challenge, but at the same time an incredible opportunity. As part of our mission, our objectives for the upcoming FIFA World Cup are twofold: to ensure that football is played fair and gives emotion and joy to the world, and to create a strong sense of social responsibility."
Juninho, surrounded by countless fans who all wanted an autograph or photo with their local hero, spoke of his enthusiasm for the SOS Children's Villages idea and stressed how special the concept of the SOS Children's Villages family is. He recounted the crucial role his own family played in his success, and emphasised that the family is the basis for the healthy development of every child. "I wholeheartedly accepted the invitation to become a 'FIFA for SOS Children's Villages' ambassador and am particularly pleased that this village will be built in 2006, the year in which I will participate in my first World Cup. I will fully support SOS Children's Villages."
Juninho described his feelings about playing in front of the world in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™: "This is my first World Cup. It will be impossible to avoid having chills run down my spine! But before I can think of a World Cup championship, I would like to get past the first round of play."
In their addresses, speakers lauded SOS Children's Villages and described its work as exemplary. One speaker after another emphasised how the local population and business community regard as particularly important the support provided by SOS Children's Villages Brazil.
The selection and training of SOS mothers has already begun for SOS Children's Village Igarassu. Altogether, fourteen family houses will be constructed which will provide a new home for approximately 130 children. During the construction period, the SOS mothers and their children will be accommodated in rented houses located in the surrounding communities. SOS Children's Villages will construct a social centre in Recife that will provide social services for more than 300 children. Pernambuco's Vice-Governor Mendonca Fihlo expressed his appreciation for the initiative: "In Pernambuco, the construction of the Children's Village and the social centre represents an exemplary model which will set an example for other social initiatives in the state."