FIFA and its long-standing charity partner SOS Children's Villages are proud to announce the success of their latest joint campaign, 'Let's Play, Let's Build', the official charity campaign of this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.
To date, the campaign has surpassed its goal of USD 2 million and raised a total of USD 2.12 million, which will be used to combat the growing HIV/AIDS crisis in southern Africa by creating new facilities for orphaned and abandoned children.
"I am delighted with the tremendous success of our campaign with SOS Children's Villages Canada," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "'Let's Play, Let's Build' perfectly captures the spirit of solidarity that makes the beautiful game such a powerful beacon of hope and it fully reflects FIFA's mission to 'develop the game, touch the world, and build a better future'. For the Game. For the World."
The United Nations estimates that one child is orphaned by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa every 15 seconds, leaving an unprecedented generation of children without parental support.
"The real winners of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007 are the children who will benefit from this campaign," said Richard Pichler, Secretary General of SOS Children's Villages International. "Canadians can be proud that they have been part of this fantastic initiative to give hundreds of children in southern Africa a second chance at life and hope for the future."
The funds raised for 'Let's Play, Let's Build' will go towards building homes and creating outreach programmes in southern Africa for orphaned and abandoned children. Among the construction plans is a new SOS Children's Village in Namibia, which will include a kindergarten and a family-strengthening programme. A similar programme will also be established at an SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Donations to SOS Children's Villages can still be made by visiting www.LetsPlayLetsBuild.ca. The interactive website allows individuals, groups and corporations to create their own customised donor page, where they can set a financial goal and keep track of their progress.
The relationship between FIFA and SOS Children's Villages is a natural fit. Football often plays a positive role in SOS Children's Villages by contributing to the physical and social development of children. It can also teach children sharing and teamwork skills, build confidence, strengthen peer-group relationships and give them a sense of safety and security through regular activity.
2007 marks SOS Children's Villages' twelfth year of cooperation with FIFA, which reached its height last year with the '6 villages for 2006' joint campaign that was organised in association with the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. The amazing USD 25 million that campaign raised has since made it possible to build six new SOS Villages in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam.
About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental social development organisation which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since its foundation in 1949 in Austria. Operating in 132 countries, SOS Children's Villages provides long-term family-based care for more than 65,000 children who have been orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. To help prevent child abandonment, and to aid families struggling within a cycle of poverty and disease, SOS Children's Villages supports another 600,000 children and their families through family-strengthening programmes and educational, medical and social outreach initiatives.