Andriy Shevchenko, European Footballer of the Year 2004 and top Chelsea London striker, became an official "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador in June 2005. Shevchenko also underlined his support to the "6 villages for 2006" charity campaign.
Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's new "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador
Shevchenko travelled to his native Ukraine to receive his "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador certificate in June 2005, and expressed his enthusiasm for the international children's welfare organisation that helps children in need in 132 countries and territories.
At the certificate awarding ceremony, more than 20 children currently benefiting from the social programmes of SOS Children's Villages in Ukraine got photos and footballs signed by their national football hero Shevchenko at the Respublikanskiy Stadium in Kiev.
"There are many problems in Ukraine and we need to improve the situation of children. Children are the future," said Shevchenko, who also pledged his support to the "6 villages for 2006" joint charity campaign between SOS Children's Villages and FIFA.
Under the "6 villages for 2006" campaign, donations will be collected for the construction of six new SOS Children's Villages including one in Ukraine. The other five new SOS Children's Villages will be built one each in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam, and will provide new homes in a family environment for hundreds of orphaned, abandoned and destitute children.