June 20 2006
Kasey Keller: "I am ready to help and join in the 6 villages for 2006 campaign!"
19/06/2006 - In a ceremony following the U.S. national team's press conference at their hotel in Hamburg, Kasey Keller received his "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador's certificate and pledged to support not only the 6 villages for 2006 campaign during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, but also the work of SOS Children's Villages USA.
Keller, the U.S. national team's goalkeeper who is playing in his fourth World Cup, is intently preparing for USA's crucial match against Ghana on Thursday, 22 June. He took a few moments after the team's training session and press conference to accept his FIFA/SOS ambassador's certificate from Georg Rodenbach, spokesman for the co-operation of "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages". Keller spoke of what it means to him to be a FIFA/SOS ambassador, and how he can help raise awareness for the 6 villages for 2006 campaign.
"An organisation like SOS Children's Villages is very important in this day and age," said Keller. "As Americans, we sometimes take for granted living in a home with loving parents. But, we also have many orphaned and abandoned children in the USA, and I appreciate the work this organisation is doing to make their lives better."
Keller said the World Cup is a great international stage on which to bring attention to children's issues. "I believe that having children without a home and parents is a travesty everywhere in the world. I support SOS Children's Villages efforts during the World Cup to build six new children's villages, and to give children a chance at a good life."
6 villages for 2006, a joint charity campaign between SOS Children's Villages and FIFA, is the most ambitious fundraising project ever in the history of football's biggest tournament. Every donation made will help SOS Children's Villages and FIFA provide 800 orphaned, abandoned and destitute children with a new family environment at six new children's villages - one each in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam. An additional 5,000 children and 1,000 families will benefit from new ancillary schools and social centres.
During the ceremony, Keller praised the work of SOS Children's Villages USA. He commented on the challenges facing orphaned and abandoned children, and said he is proud that there are now three children's villages in the United States. "I am available to help in any way I can, and am ready to join in this wonderful effort," he said.
SOS Children's Villages USA opened its first children's village in Coconut Creek, Florida in 1993. Not long afterwards, the second children's village was opened in Lockport, Illinois. In 2004, the first "urban" SOS Children's Village in the USA opened in Chicago.
Kasey Keller is one of the first American goalkeepers to become a starter in the English Premiere League, and has earned 95 international caps for the US. He is the US national team's all-time leader in wins and shutouts.
Keller is one of more than 100 "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassadors, joining the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Francesco Totti and Wayne Rooney. Many retired footballers, such as Dunga, Christian Karembeu and Roger Milla, also serve as ambassadors. FIFA/SOS ambassadors competing in this year's 2006 FIFA World Cup™ include Pauleta, Fabio Cannavaro, Ulises de la Cruz and Juninho Pernambucano. These and other ambassadors have pledged support for the 6 villages for 2006 campaign and have attended many campaign-related events.