Conversation with FIFA/SOS ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
Ukraine international Andriy Shevchenko is one of more than 100 football greats serving as a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador. He is also an avid supporter of 6 villages for 2006, the charity campaign between FIFA and the non-governmental organisation SOS Children's Villages for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Andriy, why do you support SOS Children's Villages?
Shevchenko: "This is a wonderful project which immediately appealed to me and which I support with all my heart. I think that, today, this is the best kind of project because it addresses the current problems of children and really does provide help to children. The more SOS children's villages we can build in Ukraine, the easier it will be to find a solution for the many problems of Ukraine's children. As a sportsman, I can be an role model for the children - it is my duty to help them."
What are your thoughts on the current economic situation in Ukraine?
Shevchenko: "The economic situation in Ukraine is improving from day to day. But this is not necessarily solving the problems of the children. Children are often the ones who suffer the most as a result of the current situation in Ukraine. It is our duty to ensure a better future for them. I grew up in similar circumstances as these children here."
What does it mean for you personally that Ukraine qualified for its first World Cup?
Shevchenko: "For me personally it means the achievement of a childhood dream, and it also gives my career a major boost. The participation of Ukraine in the World Cup is not only important for Ukraine football, it is also important for the country. The achievement of our football team serves as an encouragement for the economic and political situation in Ukraine, and particularly for the children. Our children must be at the forefront. Children are our future and the future of our country."
How can SOS Children's Villages help children in Ukraine?
Shevchenko: "Above all, the children are given an education and a family - children need a family. Childcare methods used to be very different. They were in the form of child centres, which I believe crippled children psychologically. The childcare model of SOS Children's Villages, of building a village with family houses, can help solve the problems of the children in a much quicker and more effective way."
In your opinion, what football team has the best chances of winning the World Cup?
Shevchenko: "I think there are 5 to 6 teams with good chances, namely Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France and Italy. On the other hand, there are very young teams who can deliver a good performance at the World Cup. I hope the Ukraine will be among these teams."
In your opinion, what are the chances of the Ukraine at the World Cup?
Shevchenko: "The most important thing is that we are participating in this football party. Our team is well prepared to deliver a good performance. The fact that we qualified for the World Cup is already a major success. It will be a new experience for all of us. As for the results I think it is very difficult to plan anything. But we are well prepared and will do the best we can."
And what chances do you think Germany has?
Shevchenko: "I think Germany's chances are good. They are playing at home, they are at the centre of public interest, and they are well prepared and did not have to play any qualification matches. I see a lot of room for development in the German team, and I think they have a good chance of lifting the World Cup title."
About 6 villages for 2006
6 villages for 2006, a joint charity campaign between SOS Children's Villages and FIFA, is the most ambitious fundraising project ever in the history of football's biggest tournament. Every donation made will help SOS Children's Villages and FIFA provide 800 orphaned, abandoned and destitute children with a new family environment at six new children's villages - one each in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam. A further 5,000 children and 1,000 families will benefit from new ancillary schools and social centres.
About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages, a private and non-governmental social development organisation for children, is active in 132 countries and territories. 444 children's villages and 354 youth facilities provide more than 60,000 children/youths with a new home. More than 137,000 children/youths attend SOS Kindergartens, SOS Schools and SOS Vocational Training Centres. Around 385,000 people benefit from the services provided by SOS Medical Centres and 230,000 people benefit from SOS Social Centres. SOS Children's Villages also helps in situations of crisis and disaster through emergency relief programmes.
Contact: Adriana Pontieri
International Press Officer,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Mobile: +43-664 502 0947 http://www.6villagesfor2006.org