UNICEF launched a football pitch for vulnerable children in Odessa
UNICEF and charitable foundation “Way Home” with the support of city administration of Odesa have launched the street football playground for disadvantaged children at Spartak stadium.
The ceremony was attended by over 50 children. They were welcomed by UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo and Director of Department of Physical Culture and Sports of Odesa City Council Olena Sokolovska. In addition, famous Ukrainian football player Oleksandr Kosyrin greeted children and pointed out that children are now able to play football at the new ground. He also conducted a football master class to them.
“Sports activities are especially important for healthy life of every child. That is why UNICEF unites its efforts with non-governmental organizations, the government and local authorities in order to grant every child an opportunity to engage in sport, and in football particularly”, stated UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo.
About 8 million children live in Ukraine, 80 thousand children live or work on the streets, and over 94 thousand children live in institutions. Every child is born with equal right to health, education and development. Every child is dreaming about a family.
“At UNICEF, we strive to make sure that every child enjoys equal rights and gets love and care. I strongly believe that the football can unite all of us in helping many children”, Yukie Mokuo added.
Last year UNICEF and Odesa charitable foundation “Way Home” launched new 3-year project on prevention of HIV and social re-integration of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and adolescents. Within the project’s framework, support is provided to children football team of charitable foundation “Way Home” through granting opportunities to children from disadvantaged and vulnerable families. The team consists of boys and girls from vulnerable families, orphans, children deprived of parental care and neglected children.
“Our long-year experience of dealing with most-at-risk adolescents, as well as the best practices of other countries demonstrate that social rehabilitation through engagement of children into football activities is one of the most important and efficient components of providing assistance to children and adolescents”, President of CF “Way to Home” Serhiy Kostin said, “We appreciate the long-standing UNICEF support and care to children, especially the most socially vulnerable ones, of our city and region”.
Check out the photo report from the football pitch launch
About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protection of children’s rights and interests. The Fund works in more than 190 countries for protection and support of children from early childhood through adolescence. Programs of UNICEF are entirely financed by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. Office of the Fund was opened in Ukraine in 1997. For more information please visit www.unicef.org.ua. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and ВКонтакте.