“Was a Big Challenge”: Roger Federer Reveals How His Charity Helped African Kids During Pandemic

Published 12/21/2020, 7:00 AM EST
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Rafael Nadal of Team Europe and teammate Roger Federer share a joke during the singles match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Team Europe and Taylor Fritz of Team World during Day One of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 20, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup will see six players from the rest of the World competing against their counterparts from Europe. Team World is captained by John McEnroe and Team Europe is captained by Bjorn Borg. The tournament runs from September 20-22. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)


Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has opened up on how his foundation supported children in Africa during the pandemic.

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Roger Federer Foundation didn’t let African kids go hungry as schools closed

The Roger Federer Foundation takes up philanthropic projects aimed at the holistic development and empowerment of children in impoverished countries and conflict zones.

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The organization also mobilizes and bankrolls similar initiatives in Africa.

In an interview with Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte, Federer shared how his foundation took care of the needs of African children at a time when the pandemic had affected them gravely.

He said that his foundation ensured that its local partners were on their toes and reached out to needy children as much as they could.

“It was very difficult there”: Roger Federer how pandemic affected African kids

“I have the feeling that you haven’t heard so much from Africa – just how bad it is in the western world. But of course we had our board calls. And it was very difficult there. Schools closed and you can’t just do homeschooling like we do,” Federer said.

He revealed what made the pandemic incredibly difficult for these children was that the shutting down of schools threatened to deprive them of meals.

Children in Africa are provided meals in schools as part of an incentive to push them into education and ensure they don’t go hungry.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Roger Federer of Switzerland and his wife Mirka Fderer celebrate with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after Federer won the Men’s Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Federer says Match for African helped him raise 3.5 million Swiss Francs

“For these children, school is a place where they can not only learn but also eat. And suddenly, it all falls away.

“With the foundation, we tried to absorb this as well as possible and helped with packages, special organizations and local partners. But it was a big challenge,”  the Swiss said.

He said the Match for Africa with Rafael Nadal at the turn of the year in Namibia helped him raise 3.5 million Swiss Francs for the foundation, which went a long way in supporting this initiative.

“Fortunately, at the beginning of the year I was able to go to Namibia and play the Match for Africa with Rafa.

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“That was an incredible experience and we were able to collect over 3.5 million Swiss Francs for the foundation,” Federer said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

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Not just Federer, even Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who go by the combined moniker of the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis, are humanitarians off the court. They have philanthropic organizations to their names that fund similar initiatives.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

995 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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