Andriy Shevchenko, European Footballer of the Year and top AC Milan striker, has become the latest star to pledge his support to the SOS Children's Villages charity. The Ukrainian international travelled to Kiev to receive his certificate of appointment as a "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador. Shevchenko will concentrate his activities for the charity on the first SOS Children's Village in the Ukraine. The SOS Children's Village Brovary near Kiev is one of six new villages being constructed under the 6 villages for 2006 campaign, launched in association with the 2006 FIFA World Cup™.
Speaking at the appointment ceremony in the Respublikanskiy Stadium in Kiev, Shevchenko said: "There are many problems in Ukraine and we need to improve the situation of children. Children are our future."
In scale, the 6 villages for 2006 campaign exceeds all previous humanitarian aid projects organised in conjunction with a FIFA World Cup™. Supported by fans, clubs, sponsors and the federations, the official FIFA World Cup 2006 ™ charity campaign aims to raise enough money by the end of the final competition in Germany to build six new SOS Children's Villages in Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and the Ukraine.
Construction is already well underway in Vietnam and the foundation stone for the SOS Children's Village Brovary is expected to be laid in August. The project will be the first of its kind in the Ukraine and will bring the number of countries with SOS Children's Villages to 132.
Andriy Shevchenko joins an auspicious roll call of past and present football players who have pledged their support to the 6 villages for 2006 campaign, including legends Jorginho and George Weah and current stars Kevin Kuranyi, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Christian Vieri.