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Arsenal F.C Defender Mikael Silvestre is gathering Soccer’s all-stars in New York for a weekend full of fundraising events from June 11th-14th to benefit his charity, the Schools for Hope Foundation. The culminating event is to be a match versus the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, June 14 at Giant Stadium.

Scoring points for their respective teams won’t be the only goal for these players, however. An ambitious $1,000,000 is the target amount to be raised for new school construction and educational centers around the world.

Soccer (Football) enthusiasts will be pleased to recognize many of the sport’s elite included on the roster. Joining Silvestre on the field will be Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Nikolas Anelka, Manuel Alumnia, Emmanuel Addebayor, Frank Lampard, and Ryan Giggs to form what is being billed as “the most unique team ever assembled.”

Silvestre, who also represents France during international play, founded the Schools for Hope Foundation with a mission to build, maintain, and staff schools in impoverished areas of the world, where there is little or no access to educational instruction on the most basic skills: reading, writing, and basic arithmetic. So far, the organization has built two new schools in Africa, and is hoping to obtain financing for additional sites in Laos, South America, and the United States.

In an interview with the New York Times, Silvestre explained why he chose education as his platform for building a better world.

“When my children first started to go to school I realized that education is the basis for a better life for poor children everywhere in the world.”

“I said to myself that I want to act, I want to be involved, with my own money. The focus is not on football at these schools, it is getting…basic skills and professional skills, so the students are able to go out and get a good job.”

Regarding the inaugural event’s location (“It’s magic when you say ‘New York’”), Silvestre adds, “I want to make sure this is an entertaining game, a good show. We want the fans to come back, maybe in two years’ time again.”

Other events planned for the weekend include an auction featuring signed memorabilia and a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden.

To view more on the global crisis of education and what the All Stars are saying about the cause, click here.

To learn more about the All Stars for Hope Weekend and to purchase tickets, visit Allstarsforhope.org.

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