July 2014: On the football ground, he is a creative player and scores amazing goals. In his personal life, the football star commits himself as an ambassador to Plan International’s sports initiative ‘Kinder brauchen Fans!’ (‘Children need Fans!’). He sponsors 3 children, in Cambodia, Senegal and Vietnam, and supports 4 of Plan’s projects in Brazil, Nepal, Philippines and Sierra Leone.
In this interview, Mario Götze unveils why he is so enthusiastic about supporting the work of Plan International.
Why are you committed to Plan International?
Plan International supports people to help themselves. Through sponsorship and projects, children, their families and communities receive sustainable support. As a sportsman, the motto of ‘Kinder brauchen Fans!’ (‘Children need Fans!’) matches perfectly to me.
Every 3 or 4 days, I am in a stadium where numerous fans cheer me on and support me. I want to pass on part of it. Being a fan of my sponsored children, I want to help support them in the long-term and learn more about their lives and how they are developing.
Why do you also support the project “Girls Football in Brazil”?
This summer, the World Cup took place in Brazil. In this country, football plays a very important role for boys and girls. However, they also face a number of obstacles. Girls are not greatly respected because of traditional role allocation within their communities or culture. In many cases, they even suffer from discrimination and face risks such as violence and drugs.
Through football and in workshops, they are introduced to values such as fairness and respect. They become self-confident and experience the feeling that they could emerge stronger as a team.
As a football player, you travel a lot. Have you ever experienced such a situation?
I travelled to the World Cup in Nigeria with the U17 national team. When we went through the cities of Lagos and Abuja, I saw how the people lived there and the conditions in which the children grew up in this African country. These impressions influenced me. I realised when I was young myself, how fortunate I am.
Do you intend to travel to one of the Plan projects one day?
I absolutely intend to do so one day. I want to gain an insight into the life of children and their families and I want to get an impression of how Plan works in the field.
Watch the Mario Götze: Children Need Fans video on YouTube.