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Friendship match: Orphaned children play football with professional team in Mariupol


The wards from Mariupol orphanage in Donetsk region, who participate in "Mentorship" project of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, had a friendship football match with professional players from Illichivets.

The kinds initiated the match themselves. According to Kateryna Stepanina, the Coordinator of "Mentorship" is Mariupol, such events are extremely important for the orphans.

"As part of "Mentorship" project we arrange different activities: career guidance tours, meetings with people of different professions who became successful. Talking to these people, observing their growth, children can see certain factors that can help them to make a success in the life", – Kateryna Stepanina shares. – Children see that there are many possibilities, the main thing is your willing and efforts".

This time children had a chance to show themselves as sports people, and their mentors were watching the game from the stands. It should be noted that the kids from the project make a well-organized team, they often play football together in their free time. And to the surprise of the audience "Mentorship" team won the game with a score of 6: 4. However, this loss didn't upset the team of professional players.

"We like to take part in the activities that make children happy. Especially vulnerable children who don’t have a family. They've got to have a dream, and if they dream of becoming football players, it's great! Now everything depends on them", – the head coach of Illichivets, Oleksandr Sevidov, emphasizes.

Children mention that their mentors are trying to support them in every possible way – they give them advice about studies and sports.  "I want to become a football player, I go training every day and sometimes I play with my mentor. The most memorable moment of this game was a scissor kick. I scored a goal through a pass! I went to play with great mood and confidence in victory. I think this match will help me in my future life. I want to enter a college after the orphanage. My mentor always helps me with studies – algebra and English. Now my grades are good and I study well", – Volodymyr Prykhodko, a participant of "Mentorship" project, shares.

As of today there are 43 mentor-mentee couples working together under "Mentorship" project.

"Rinat Akhmetov Foundation pays special attention to helping orphans. It is important for these children to see the example of healthy lifestyle. The example of success that can be achieved if you work hard and grow. And the fact that children played equally well with professional team is the most important thing, and now they have self-confidence and faith in victory. It is really important and precious for them", – Natalia Baryshpolska, the Head of "Say No to Orphanhood!" program at Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, shares.