Helmer opens SOS Children’s Village in Vietnam
Former German international Thomas Helmer and his wife, actress Yasmina Filali, officially inaugurated the Dong Hoi SOS Children’s Village in Vietnam in July in their capacity as patrons of the organisation. The village and its SOS kindergarten were built as part of the 6 Villages for 2006 campaign that was run jointly by FIFA and SOS Children’s Villages in conjunction with last year’s World Cup in Germany.
“We visited the building site in Dong Hoi two and a half years ago. Seeing what a great facility it has now become touched us very deeply. Laughing children and mothers, a proud village leader – it’s a really fantastic project. It’s not just about the fun we had with the kids, but also the joy of knowing that they have a wonderful home there and a tremendous opportunity for their future,” said Helmer.
At the heart of the new village is a large field where the children can play ball games. Helmer and Filali took 50 footballs with them and the youngsters all lined up to take a shot at the same time – with the retired German defender in goal. Helmer also played a full part in a match later in the day, cheered on by the many fans in attendance. Filali did not take to the field though – and for good reason: she was five months pregnant.