December 13 2006
Zinedine Zidane visits Algerian SOS reconstructed paediatric project
13/12/2006 - Football great and former French captain Zinedine Zidane this week visited a paediatric centre at a hospital in Thenia, which was reconstructed by SOS Children's Villages following the earthquake that devastated the northern Algerian region of Boumerdes in 2003.
Making his first visit in 20 years to his ancestral home, Zidane visited and inaugurated various social projects in Algeria over the past days, including the paediatric centre of a hospital in Thenia, which had been ruined by the 2003 earthquake. Zizou, as he nicknamed in France, was accompanied by his Algerian-born parents.
SOS Children's Villages coordinated the reconstruction of this paediatric centre in Thenia with the financial support of the Foundation of France, as well as proceeds of a charity football game that had been organised by Zidane and his former team mate Henri Emile back in October 2003.
The paediatric centre was reconstructed in 90 days and includes a 475m2 building with 45 beds for children. The centre went into operation following a small opening ceremony in March 2004 organised by Algerian hospital authorities. Later on, another building was set up for the mothers of hospitalised children.
This facility provides a space for mothers to be with their children and includes 24 beds, three classrooms, three educational workshops and two offices, and is the first of its kind in Algeria.
The 2003 earthquake in the Boumerdes region of northern Algeria killed 2,300 people, injured more than 10,000 and made at least 100,000 homeless. SOS Children's Villages responded to this natural disaster by quickly setting up an emergency relief programme, under which food parcels, hygiene products, sleeping bags, radiators and clothes were distributed to families who had been forced to temporarily live in tents.