It was in 2003 that Football international Alexandr Hleb was made "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" Ambassador for his home country, Belarus. This means that Hleb, who plays for his national side as well as for the English Premier League Club FC Arsenal, is following in the footsteps of his team-mate, Krassimir Balakov who is FIFA/SOS ambassador for Bulgaria:
"I didn't know anything about SOS Children's Villages, but Balakov told my everything about the organisation. Even though I'm still pretty young myself, I've always wanted to help children. It was a very emotional moment when they asked me whether I wanted to take on the role of ambassador", says Hleb.
A visit in June 2003 to SOS Children's Villages Borovljany near Minsk helped his final decision to become involved in helping children in Belarus. "I am enthusiastic about how the children are being helped here," is how Hleb summed up his first impressions.
The children where also over the moon, crowding around the 2002 Belarus sportsman of the year for autographs. Alexadr Helb was also guest at the "DaimlerChrysler Junior Cups" in January 2004, where he gave his support to the Belarus junior team as well as SOS Children's Villages in his country, in particular, since DamilerChrysler this year financed the construction of a second village in Marina Gorka.