Since forming his foundation in 2004, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer has been involved with numerous philanthropic efforts.
His primary focus with the foundation is on improving children’s education, especially in places where access is extremely limited. Federer has opened schools throughout the world over the past 15 years. He has already built over 50 preschools in Malawi, South Africa.
During one of his visits to Malawi’s schools, Federer said, “I’m so happy and emotional that I can see a preschool of this quality here–it’s quite extraordinary. The community is so committed to helping the kids, it’s so important (as) the foundation for learning.”
In 2015, the Roger Federer Foundation said it hoped that by 2018 it would feed and teach a million children. The goal seemed incredible, but as soon as they promised, the foundation was able to make it happen.
In a statement following the completion of the goal, Janine Händel, CEO of the Roger Federer Foundation, said it took a lot of hard work to see the task through.
“It took a lot of work and determination to achieve this amazing thing. There was no other possibility than achieving this goal because Roger always achieves his goals. There are one million children that benefit from the major quality of education in the school, preschool, kindergarten. One million children have now a better chance to make their way in life, to get a job, to exit from poverty … Roger believes in the empowerment of the people and their potential. That’s a fundamental value in our everyday work. We strongly believe early education is one of the most powerful weapons to empower children exiting from poverty. It’s actually proven that education makes people better citizens, be more prepared when it comes to dealing with issues, and they have more instruments to manage their life,” Händel said.
Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most in history by a male player, holding the world’s top spot in the ATP rankings for a record 310 weeks in total. He’s also the only person to win four times the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award.