(11 August 2007) - “I am delighted with the tremendous success of our campaign with SOS Children’s Villages Canada,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. “‘Let’s Play, Let’s Build’ perfectly captures the spirit of solidarity that makes the beautiful game such a powerful beacon of hope and it fully reflects FIFA’s mission to ‘develop the game, touch the world, and build a better future’. For the Game. For the World.”
The United Nations estimates that one child is orphaned by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa every 15 seconds, leaving an unprecedented generation of children without parental support. “The real winners of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007 are the children who will benefit from this campaign,” said Richard Pichler, Secretary General of SOS Children’s Villages International. “Canadians can be proud that they have been part of this fantastic initiative to give hundreds of children in southern Africa a second chance at life and hope for the future.”
Funds raised for “Let’s Play, Let’s Build” will go towards building homes and creating outreach programmes in southern Africa for orphaned and abandoned children. Among the construction plans is a new SOS Children's Village in Namibia, which will include a kindergarten and family strengthening programme. A similar programme will also be established at an SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg, South Africa. Donations to SOS Children’s Villages can still be easily made by visiting www.LetsPlayLetsBuild.ca. The interactive website allows individuals, groups and corporations to create their own customised donor page, where they can set a financial goal and keep track of their progress.
The relationship between FIFA and SOS Children’s Villages is a natural fit. Football often plays a positive role in SOS Children’s Villages by contributing to the physical and social development of children. It can also teach children sharing and teamwork skills, build confidence, strengthen relationships with peers and give them a sense of safety and security through regular activity. 2007 marks SOS Children’s Villages twelfth year of cooperation with FIFA, which reached its height to date last year during the “6 villages for 2006” joint campaign surrounding the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. With an amazing USD $25 million raised, the construction of six new SOS Villages in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam was achieved.
About SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental social development organization which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since its foundation in 1949 in Austria. Operating in 132 countries, SOS Children's Villages provides long-term family-based care for more than 65,000 children who have been orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. To help prevent child abandonment, and to aid families struggling within a cycle of poverty and disease, SOS Children's Villages supports another 600,000 children and their families through family strengthening programmes and educational, medical and social outreach initiatives. About FIFA
For more than 100 years, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, founded on 21 May 1904 in Paris and better known as FIFA, has continued to provide the essential leadership role to the international football family. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the eighth FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter (Switzerland), guides the organisation today with a commitment to the evolution of FIFA as a modern and dynamic association. The basis of the world’s football family is formed by FIFA’s members. From the founding seven, the family has today grown to 208 affiliated football associations, that are organised in six confederations spanning the globe. FIFA’s worldwide activities go well beyond its various competitions, such as the world’s biggest single-sport event, the FIFA World Cup™. In projects such as the Football for Hope movement (incl. SOS Children Villages, UNICEF and streetfootballworld) and the FIFA GOAL Programme- just to name a few of its development and charity activities - FIFA gives material, financial and promotional support to develop the game and bring joy to underprivileged worldwide. To stay updated on FIFA’s activities, please check www.FIFA.com
Project Leader - Official Charity Campaign of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007
SOS Children's Villages Canada
Tel: 613-232-3309 / 1-800-767-5111 (Ext. 21) Further information from:
FIFA Media Department