The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appointed Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Armenia’s most famous and popular football player, as a “goodwill ambassador” who will help it promote proper education for disadvantaged children in the country.
Mkhitaryan, who plays for the Armenian national team and the English club Manchester United, formally took on his new role at a ceremony in Yerevan held on Wednesday. “Education will be the pillar of my cooperation with UNICEF,” he told an ensuing news conference.
“It’s very sad to see that not all children have the same opportunities to attend school and they don’t get access to quality early learning and education,” he said. “All children should be able to enjoy the opportunity to reach their full potential so they can become productive citizens,”
“Together with UNICEF, I will try to encourage Armenian families to get active and enable a fair chance for every child in the country,” added the 27-year-old attacking midfielder, who was signed by United from Germany’s Borussia Dortmund this summer for a reported $37 million fee.
“We are excited to have Mkhitaryan join us as the newest UNICEF Ambassador in Armenia,” the head of the UN agency’s Yerevan office, Tanja Radocaj, said for her part.
In a separate statement, UNICEF said Armenia has made “considerable progress” in expanding children’s access to pre-primary education. “However many children are still left behind, including children with disabilities and children living in remote rural areas,” it said.