March 21 2007
Sanchez calls on football fans to support SOS Children's Villages
Opening of the SOS Children's Village in Morelia, Mexico
21/03/2007 - FIFA/SOS ambassador and Mexican national team coach Hugo Sanchez called on football fans to support SOS Children's Villages. Sanchez was among the many guests attending the opening ceremony of the children's village in Morelia; one of the six such projects built with donations collected from 6 villages for 2006 - Official Charity Campaign of the 2006 FIFA World CupTM.
In his speech at the opening ceremony in Morelia on Tuesday, 20 March, Sanchez also pledged his personal commitment to continue supporting the children's organisation, and thanked FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter for appointing him as a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador. Sanchez also thanked world football's governing body, via FIFA Representative Rafael Tinoco, for its support in making the 6 villages for 2006 campaign a major success.
6 villages for 2006, a two-year joint fundraising campaign between SOS Children's Villages and FIFA, exceeded all expectations by collecting more than € 21 million in donations to give 800 orphaned and abandoned children a new home in six new children's villages - one each in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam. A further 5,000 children and 1,000 families will benefit from ancillary social projects.
Sanchez, who has visited several children's villages since being appointed a FIFA/SOS ambassador in late 2005, said he always felt touched by the harmony he had seen within the various SOS families. The children were all delighted to meet the Mexican football idol, and also sang and performed traditional dances for the guests.
SOS Children's Villages President Helmut Kutin thanked Hugo Sanchez for his invaluable support for children in need and said: "Mexico did not win the World Cup, but the children have won an exceptional ambassador in Hugo Sanchez!" Also present at the opening ceremony was the Governor of the Mexican province of Michoacán Lazaro Cardenas Batel, who thanked SOS Children's Villages for its spirit of cooperation.
In Michoacán, the number of children at risk of abandonment and in danger of facing a life in poverty is increasing steadily. More than 100 orphaned and abandoned children will find a new family in 14 houses at the new SOS Children Village in Morelia.