March 9 2004
The Duchess of York to be spokesperson of SOS Children's Villages USA
08/03/2004 - Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, became the official spokesperson of SOS Children's Villages in the USA. The collaboration was officially announced on Monday, 8 March during the Duchess' visit to the SOS Children's Village in Coconut Creek, Florida.
"SOS Children's Villages is about holding dignity, courage and self-respect. More people should support SOS because it's right, it's true and it's good and I'm proud to be standing up here," the Duchess said last year at a New York reception, which celebrated the organisation's ten-year anniversary of service to abandoned and abused children in the USA.
"We have to give our children the right to a healthy happy life, healthcare, protection and prevention. We have to make sure they are educated, and we have to give them all the rights that we have been so lucky to have," the Duchess added.
On Monday, the Duchess, herself a mother of two children, visited the premises of the SOS Children's Village in Coconut Creek, Florida. Prior to her visit, Christopher Zappia, the Executive Director of SOS Children's Villages USA, said: "I am very excited about the Duchess' support of our work. The organisation has been around for over 50 years and the average American does not know how we help abandoned and abused children. The Duchess will help us get the word out."
During the reception, SOS Children's Villages USA also announced the establishment of a new SOS Children's Village in the town of Battambang in Cambodia, which will be funded by a 1.5 million dollar commitment from the Odd Fellows.
The SOS Children's Village USA Association was established in 1961 with the initial purpose of raising funds for the international work of SOS-Kinderdorf International. In 1993, two SOS Children's Villages were inaugurated in the USA in Coconut Creek, Florida and Lockport, southeast of Chicago, Illinois.