CAIRO (AFP) — French footballing icon Zinedine Zidane was in Cairo on Thursday to launch a home for handicapped street children as part of a worldwide programme aimed at helping the most disadvantaged youngsters.
Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood signed a protocol with French company Danone, for which Zidane is world ambassador, to provide handicapped and homeless children with shelter, health care and education.
"It gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate a home for the handicapped street children of Egypt," Zidane told journalists.
"Undoubtedly I will be more gratified when all the children of the world enjoy care, safety and protection."
Besides setting up a home to take in some of Cairo’s thousands of streetchildren, the programme will also look at the possibility of job-creating projects for their families.
Cairo has between 200,000 and one million street children, according to the UN’s children agency UNICEF.
Former Real Madrid and Juventus midfielder Zidane retired from professional football after playing for France in the 2006 World Cup final.