October 7 2005
Wayne Rooney becomes a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador
(7 October 2005) - Wayne Rooney, PFA Young Player of the Year 2005 and top England/Manchester United striker, became a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador in October 2005. Rooney also underlined his support for the official charity campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, "6 villages for 2006".
Wayne Rooney said: "I was made up when FIFA and SOS Children's Villages asked me if I would get involved. The work they do is for kids who have suffered and have no families to help them. I know how much it means to have a family that supports you, so I am delighted I can give my support to these kids."
In February 2003 Wayne Rooney became the youngest footballer to play for England. In August 2004 he became the world's most expensive teenager when he signed for Manchester United, and his reputation as one of the world's most exciting young players was further enhanced by his hugely impressive performances for England at Euro 2004 in Portugal.
Through his ambassadorial role, Wayne is hoping to use his internationally growing reputation to further help some of the most disadvantaged children in the world by helping FIFA and SOS Children's Villages to provide family homes where they can grow up with brothers, sisters and an education.
FIFA welcomes the appointment of Wayne Rooney as "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador for England. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter said of the England player's appointment: "Rooney is one of the most exciting young talents of our days and it is encouraging to see that he is committing himself to support the cause of some of the most vulnerable and needy children around the world."
Under the "6 villages for 2006" campaign, donations are being collected from football fans worldwide for the construction of six new SOS Children's Villages. The 6 new SOS Children's Villages will be built one each in Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam, and will provide new homes in a family environment for hundreds of orphaned, abandoned and destitute children.
Wayne joins a list of leading world football stars in accepting this "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassadorial role. Other ambassadors include; Andriy Shevchenko, Ruud van Nistelrooy, George Weah, Jay Jay Okocha, Lucas Radebe, and Robert Pirès. As figureheads of the world’s most popular sport, they draw attention to the common cause in their various countries and at the international level, as well as making a contribution to the activities organised in their respective fields.
Andrew Cates, Chief Executive, SOS Children's Villages UK commented "We are really delighted that Wayne has become an ambassador for the campaign. Wayne follows other footballing greats from around the world in recognising the needs of the world's rapidly increasing number of children who are alone with no one left to care for them (currently there are about 16 million). When someone of Wayne's public stature shows such strong support for our work, we are confident that England will follow his lead helping children with nowhere else to turn."
SOS Children's Villages is active in 132 countries and territories. 438 SOS Children's Villages and 346 SOS Youth Facilities provide more than 59,000 children and youths in need with a new home. More than 131,000 children/youths attend SOS Kindergartens, SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools and SOS Vocational Training Centres. Around 397,000 people benefit from the services provided by SOS Medical Centres, 115,000 people from services provided by SOS Social Centres. SOS Children's Villages also helps in situations of crisis and disaster through emergency relief programmes.
SOS-Kinderdorf International is the umbrella organisation of all worldwide SOS Children's Villages.
(SOS-Kinderdörfer - SOS Villages d'Enfants - Aldeas Infantiles SOS)
For more information on "6 villages for 2006" and SOS-Kinderdorf International, please contact:
Adriana Pontieri, Press Officer
Tel: +43-1 368 2457 2185
For more information on Wayne Rooney and SOS Children's Villages UK, please contact:
Jenny Townsend, Campaign Director UK
Tel: +44 1223 365589 or +44 07775 505807