6 villages for 2006 - SOS Children's World Cup campaign!
SOS Children and world football's governing body FIFA extended their long-term partnership and launched the joint charity campaign "6 villages for 2006" - the official charity campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Running until the final whistle of the final match in Germany, the aim is to raise funds for the construction of six new SOS Children's Villages, in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam.
SOS Children has gained the support of former Scottish international and Celtic manager, Gordon Strachan, as well as one of the world's most exciting young footballing talents, Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United star striker. Rooney said "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."
Additionally some 60 current and former footballers are already FIFA/SOS Ambassadors, including Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy, George Weah, Bolton star Jay Jay Okocha, former Leeds United Captain Lucas Radebe and Arsenal's Robert Pirès. Gordon's team Celtic have also joined the '6 for 2006' campaign and aim to raise funds to build a family house in the new village in South Africa.
Work has now begun on all six of the new villages, with big celebrations to mark the laying of each village's foundation stone. The event in Rustenburg, South Africa, saw not only local hero and FIFA/SOS ambassador Lucas Radebe, government officials and members of the South Africa 2010 World Cup organising committee helping to lay the stone.
Last month saw the foundation stone laid in Nigeria at Gwagwalada. A largely impoverished city, Gwagwalada is located near the capital Abuja and has a population of 1.2 million. The SOS Children's Village Gwagwalada will have of 12 family houses for 150 children as well as an SOS Kindergarten and SOS Primary School for nearly 300 children from the village and the local community.
An SOS Medical Centre will provide healthcare and community outreach programmes such as HIV/AIDS prevention, family planning, adult literacy and courses in micro-financing. A basic sports and football field at the new village will be one of the few recreational facilities in the neighbourhood, which will be open to all.
Construction for three of the other children's villages has already begun in Morelia (Mexico), Rustenburg (South Africa) and Bovary (Ukraine).
Together, these six SOS Children's Villages will provide homes for some 800 orphaned, abandoned and destitute children in an effort to care for the growing numbers of orphans worldwide.
During the lead-up to the World Cup we will keep you updated of events and activities you can be part of. Keep checking our six-villages page for more details in the coming months!