1 Goal, the initiative focused on ensuring that all children gain access to education, was launched yesterday at Wembley Stadium with the backing of football’s governing body FIFA as well as many top name stars.

1goal charityIn an attempt to urge African governments to provide education to all children, 1 Goal are looking to collect millions of online signatures and are looking for your support.

Footy Boots attended the launch of this charity yesterday, along with a host of top flight, current and retired, players. David James, Aaron Mokoena, Michel Silvestre, Marcel Desailly and Kanu joined host Gary Lineker and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, at the home of English football.

In front of the media and camera crews, the initiative, as part of the wider Class of 2015 scheme, was announced with hopes that the 75 million children out of school in Africa and the world’s poorest countries will have access to classrooms, teachers and the future that education provides, by 2015.

In the words of Owain James, the global coordinator of 1 Goal, “Football unites the world” and it is the upcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa where it is hoped the initiative will culminate. It is a global campaign for a global tournament, and it is hoped that the whole football family will be able to create a lasting legacy following the world’s greatest sporting showcase. Not only will the tournament be an exciting and proud moment for the continent, but with 1 Goal the World Cup will mark the start of a better future for children everywhere.

Federico Addiechi, head of corporate social responsibility for FIFA, declared, “The popularity of the FIFA World Cup will enable a wide audience to be made aware of the challenges surrounding education worldwide and to pledge their support to 1 Goal and in doing so helping all kids get the education they deserve,”

As well as the faces who supported the official launch, other stars behind the campaign include Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry, Mia Hamm, former NBA star Steve Nash, and actor Kevin Spacey. Major charities, teaching unions, the sport’s governing bodies, the players and hopefully soon the fans will join together, and in the way movie stars and singers have shown in the past, the football family will be able to show its power by changing the world.

1 Goal is not asking for financial support, all the campaign requires is for fans to write their names, for those who cannot.

Have you signed up to help children across the world? www.join1goal.org.

By James Bailey

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