Tapiola, Finland (18 November 2003) - Kimi Raikkonen, the runner-up in the 2003 Formula One driver's world championships, on Tuesday visited children at the Finnish SOS Children's Village in Tapiola, near Helsinki. Finland's motor racing hero is financially supporting the humanitarian work of the international children's welfare organisation in Finland and Hungary.
"It's good to be in a position to support a very worthy children's organisation. I hope that my contribution will also help to raise awareness for the large numbers of children in need," said Raikkonen.
Two children receiving family-based care at the SOS Children's Village in Tapiola were invited by Raikkonen to attend the Monaco Grand Prix last May. The children, 9-year-old Nico and 10-year-old Kristina watched the race from Raikkonen's yacht in the harbour of Monte Carlo. During that event, the children invited Raikkonen to visit their home in Tapiola.
On Tuesday, all 42 children in the care of SOS Children's Villages in Tapiola had the opportunity to meet the McLaren Mercedes driver, who was born in the nearby town of Espoo. The children greatly enjoyed Raikkonen's visit and got on well with the 24-year-old racing driver.
SOS Children's Villages is a non-governmental and non-denominational organisation providing family-based care for destitute, abandoned and orphaned children in 131 countries and territories. More than 50,000 children receive family-based care at 439 SOS Children's Villages worldwide. Some 120,000 children and youths attend SOS Schools, SOS Kindergartens and SOS Vocational Training Centres. A further 500,000 benefit from SOS Medical and Social Centres, as well as SOS Emergency Relief Programmes.