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Roger Visits the Townships of Port Elizabeth

02.03.2005 | Foundation

Media Release


Port Elizabeth (South Africa), 02 March 2005 – The Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting young people in South Africa since May 2004. Roger Federer today paid a surprise visit to children and institutions in the township of New Brighton near Port Elizabeth. Among several activities he planted a tree in memory of his visit and the partnership with the organisation IMBEWU Community Volunteers.


World No. 1 Roger Federer today paid a surprise visit to school children and AIDS victims in the townships near Port Elizabeth in South Africa. Roger Federer’s visit was designed to give him a first-hand look at the children who benefit from a partnership between the Roger Federer Foundation and the South African/Swiss aid agency IMBEWU.


The partnership provides schooling and two meals a day for 30 children across three schools, providing them with uniforms and stationery as well as enabling them to take part in special activities. Furthermore, the Roger Federer Foundation also supports the running of the local IMBEWU office and has helped create three full-time jobs there. Roger Federer also brought joy to AIDS and TB-infected children by visiting the Empilweni Hospital in the township of New Brighton.


Roger Federer’s surprise visit delighted students at three schools supported by the partnership: Daniels Primary School (with 607 students), Mvisiswano Primary School (305) and Ndzondelelo High School (1,300). One lucky student at each school who won an education slogan contest received a gift from Roger Federer. All 2,500 students at the schools received a t-shirt with the winning slogan - ‘I’m tomorrow’s future’ - in an activity sponsored by Nike.


Roger Federer was accompanied by his parents Lynette (a native South African), Robbie and girlfriend Mirka. During the day Roger participated in a soccer match with students and teachers and planted a tree at Mvisiswano Primary School in memory of his visit and partnership. After having enjoyed a very traditional Xhosa meal - samp with beans – together with the children he presented winners of the education contest with gifts and t-shirts before a large school choir sang the national anthem ‘Nkosi Sikelel’Afrika’, releasing 200 balloons in the colours of the South African flag. He rounded off the day by visiting the house of an IMBEWU-sponsored child and joining in a local basketball match.


The visit was an impressive experience for Roger Federer: “My objective is to share the luck I have experienced and make my own contribution towards a better world. I was immediately fascinated by the idea of supporting this project in South Africa and being able to help these children build a future of their own. I have now had the chance to see for myself what the situation here is like and what impact this project has on the kids involved.

I am most impressed by the effort the staff puts into supporting these children. Seeing the reaction of the kids upon my visit was overwhelming. It has been a day full of emotional experiences and it was depressing to see the poor circumstances many of these children have to live in. I am convinced that we are heading into the right direction with this support.”


Roger Federer Foundation

The Roger Federer Foundation was established in December 2003 with two goals: to fund projects that benefit disadvantaged children and to promote sport for young people. Roger Federer has also been active in supporting tsunami relief efforts. He is the driving force behind a March 11 charity exhibition during the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells designed to benefit UNICEF tsunami relief efforts.



Since 2001 the locally active organisation IMBEWU Community Volunteers (IMBEWU means ‘seed’ in the local language, Xhosa) has worked to improve social conditions for children and young people in the New Brighton Township near Port Elizabeth in southeastern South Africa. All of the six projects supported and managed by IMBEWU revolve around education, health, sports and cultural programmes. The biggest project is a sponsorship scheme under which 100 Swiss families subsidize 134 children.

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05/11/2009 | 03:33 PM
i love u soo much roger federer. you are the nicest person i have met or laid eyes on despite that you are he greatest tennis player in the world. btw will u marry me roger federer
02/20/2006 | 04:01 AM
Well done Roger. At the end of your tennis career you'll be recorded as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) player ever to grace the sport, but for thousands of others you'll be remembered as the wonderful human being that you have shown yourself t