ANAMOSA, Iowa — Plenty of celebrities and athletes alike do their part to help the needy, but one man that stands out is Lionel Messi. The recent star of the 2022 World Cup champion team, Lionel Messi, has done a lot to help end global poverty. In addition to being an ambassador for UNICEF since 2010, Messi has created his own non-profit organization called the Leo Messi Foundation and has done many acts of charity on his own. Through these charity works and more, Lionel Messi has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide.
How It Started
Leo Messi started his professional football career at the age of 17 in 2004, playing for Barcelona. Just three years later, in 2007, Messi started his non-profit organization, the Leo Messi Foundation.
The mission of the organization is to protect the health and safety of young children around the world who do not have the means to provide for themselves. The foundation’s top priority at the moment is investing in health care services to improve children’s lives.
Lionel Messi said himself, “I reached my dream of becoming a footballer and I want you to know that I fought a lot to get there and I have to fight even more to stay. I want to take advantage of that effort and that success to help the children who need it the most, because that is how I have chosen it, because I am moved every day that I get a child to smile, when they think there is hope, when I see that they feel happy. That is why we decided to create the Leo Messi Foundation. And I will continue fighting to make children happy with the same strength and dedication that I need to continue being a footballer.”
Becoming a UNICEF Ambassador
UNICEF is an agency of the United Nations that provides humanitarian and developmental aid to children across the world. In 2010, Lionel Messi joined UNICEF as one of its ambassadors. Following his appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador, Messi traveled to Haiti with UNICEF to bring awareness to the struggles the children there were facing in light of the recent earthquake. In more recent years, Messi has supported UNICEF’s efforts to fight COVID-19 by sharing prevention practices and fundraising for UNICEF’s emergency response plan.
More Than Just A Football Player
Leo Messi, while being an incredible athlete, is also famous for the many personal donations he has made to various charities and causes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he donated €1 million for clinical and health care support in his home country of Argentina.
Additionally, in February 2019, Messi donated 23 million Kenyan shillings to help Kenyan children and families access clean water, safe sanitation facilities and food. During this project, Messi worked with UNICEF to build water pumps and distribute nutritional supplements to nearly 4,000 children.
Since the start of his career in 2004, Lionel Messi has not only risen to fame because of his stellar skills on the field but also because of his many humanitarian efforts that have changed the lives of thousands of children worldwide.
– Evelyn Breitbach