Renewable energy company Yingli Solar have helped with FIFA’s Football for Hope Centres in Africa, providing energy and solar street lighting for the football pitches and the Football for Hope Centres themselves.

On the occasion of the opening of the 16th Football for Hope Centre in Africa, FIFA emphasized again the importance of sustainability in its social legacy campaign in Africa. In support of this goal, Yingli Green Energy used its global expertise in renewable energy to provide help to FIFA in improving the social environment for children in Africa through solar power.

For the latest Football for Hope Centre in Alexandra, Yingli Green Energy provided solar panel modules for the solar street lighting system and the company has equipped all Centres with a total of 258 solar panel modules. Each Centre was able to choose between a variety of systems such as a solar-powered lighting system for the playing field, a water pump including water reservoir or a solar power supply system.

Four Centres are left to be completed by the end of the year or in 2014. FIFA has closely and constantly collaborated with the communities where the Centres had been built, in order to ensure that the new infrastructure would meet the local needs. Each Football for Hope Centre consists of a playing field for football and a building where educational projects take place and football is viewed as an instrument for promoting motivation and dialogue within the community.

Yingli Green Energy are the world’s largest solar panel module manufacturer, and became the first renewable energy company to sponsor the FIFA World Cup™ in 2010. More than 30 million Yingli Solar panels are operating in more than 40 countries and the Chinese-based company have 20 branches based around the world.

"I would like to thank Yingli Green Energy for their contributions in our social campaign '20 Centres for 2010' and the installation of the solar panels that are crucial for the sustainability of the Centres", said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke at the inauguration of the 16th Football For Hope Centre.

"We are happy to bring light and hope to the children in Africa," said Judy Tzeng Lee, Vice President of Global Marketing at Yingli Green Energy. "Even though the project is coming to an end, the Centres will keep on supporting young people for many years. We look forward to continuing our partnership with FIFA in creating a more sustainable future through our expertise in renewable energy products and our passion for football."

Football will be used to combat AIDS at the new Centre in Alexandra. In this, Grassroot Soccer for South Africa is playing an important role. The South African non-profit organisation is relying on football to reach young people and educate them about AIDS.

"Football is a popular sport and attracts youths all over the world," said James Donald, Head of Grassroot Soccer for South Africa. "At the Alexandra Centre, we want to use the opportunity to educate youths about AIDS and teach them how they can avoid this disease. AIDS continues to be a major problem in Africa. The new Centre is an ideal spot to address this concern."