World Cup 2014: "If it’s about doing something for the kids of my country, I am in."
Bread for the World's World Cup series will use the occasion of the Cup to focus on the great advances many of the participating countries and players have made in fighting hunger and poverty. Each day, until the end of the tournament, we will highlight a country, or an individual player, that is making a difference.
By Bianca Brown
Sunday, June 29: Mexico v. Netherlands; Costa Rica v. Greece
Today, don’t miss the match-ups of Mexico v. Netherlands and Costa Rica v. Greece—both games are expected to be battles of strategy. Many of the players put those same strategizing skills to use in their work to address hunger and poverty. Players, such as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez of the Mexico team, are a part of organizations that pledge to make the world a better place for kids who aspire to make a difference through fútbol. Ultimately, these organizations and programs—with support from World Cup athletes—are working together to end hunger and poverty across the globe.
Mexico’s poverty rate, as of 2012, was an estimated 52.3 percent. The country is working toward achieving many of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with programs focused on the welfare and equal education opportunities of children. Mexico also receives support from global programs, such as UNICEF.
Hernandez—as a newly appointed UNICEF National Ambassador—recently said, “When I heard that UNICEF wished to invite me to become a National Ambassador, immediately I thought: if it’s about doing something for the kids of my country, I am in.” UNICEF National Ambassadors are chosen not only for their skills and prowess in their occupational fields, but also for their desire to empower future generations.
In Greece, many families are struggling to find stability, resulting in more than 14 percent of the population living in poverty. Living conditions of children in Greece have declined, as 74.1 percent of poor households with children have reported that they can’t cover their basic needs. As 2015 approaches, the country is focusing on increasing policies that will improve food security for children, create more employment opportunities, and address the need for social economic equality. Greece aspires to complete these goals in order to benefit those in need.
Bianca Brown is an intern in Bread for the World's communications department and a senior at Georgia's Wesleyan College.
Photo: Javier Hernández Balcázar during Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion. (Wikimedia Commons)
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