Hard work does pay off. Since embarking on its groundbreaking 6 Villages for 2006 campaign with the valuable assistance of FIFA two years ago, the charity SOS Children's Villages has raised a staggering 25 million euros. That record sum is being channelled into specific projects designed to help children in need around the world.
The initiative has allowed 800 orphans and abandoned children to embark on a more hopeful future in a series of newly built villages. But that is not all. A further 5,000 children and 1,000 families have also benefited from a host of social and educational projects. Every euro donated to the campaign since it was launched in December 2004 has gone to the construction and maintenance of six villages in South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The success of the campaign is due in no small part to SOS Children's Villages, which has worked tirelessly on behalf of children the world over since it was founded in 1949. The organisation first teamed up with FIFA in 1995, and since then the two organisations have engaged in a fruitful partnership that has led to much-needed infrastructures being put in place in some 40 countries.
The stars of the football firmament have also played their part by giving their personal backing to 6 Villages for 2006, which was closely linked with this year's FIFA World Cup™ in Germany. The likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Pele, Andriy Shevchenko, Fabio Cannavaro, Wayne Rooney, Dunga, Jay-Jay Okocha, Hugo Sanchez and Ruud van Nistelrooij have all rallied round by lending their valuable time and support to ensure the success of the campaign. Let us hope this amazing achievement will inspire others to follow suit.