BY MICHAEL HOUSTON
Roger Federer has donated $1 million (£826,000/€924,000) to provide meals for families in Africa affected by school closures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.
His charity, the Roger Federer Foundation, will feed 64,000 people impacted by the crisis, with many families previously relying on free school meals.
It will work with local partners in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi to provide extra food for the next two months.
Janine Händel, chief executive of the Roger Federer Foundation, said: “The normally provided school meals are often the only nutritious meal children get.
“With schools now closed, children no longer have access to these meals.
“Hunger is a problem, in particular in the countries with lockdowns where vulnerable families have no reserves.”
The Foundation was founded in 2003 and supports educational projects in southern Africa and Federer’s native Switzerland.
Those projects in Africa focus on early learning and basic education, while in Switzerland extra-curricular activities for children impacted by poverty are promoted.
The Swiss icon has won 103 Association of Tennis Professionals titles at the age of 38, including 20 Grand Slams – the most in the history of men’s tennis.
Federer also won men’s doubles gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and was the singles silver medallist at London 2012.
Born to a Swiss-German father and a South African mother, Federer focuses his Foundation on the two areas of the world where he has heritage.
There have been in excess of 83,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa to date, resulted in the deaths of at least 2,730 people.