Among his many philanthropic interests, soccer superstar David Beckham is a founding member of the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council, and a supporter of Help for Heroes, a charity aimed at helping injured service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this role for the international charity, Beckham’s focal point is UNICEF’s Unite Against AIDS Campaign. He traveled to Sierra Leone in January, 2007 with the organization, and following the visit he commented on his experiences there:
“We can’t turn a blind eye to the tens of thousands of young children who die every day in the developing world mostly from causes that are preventable.
“In Sierra Leone, one in four children dies before reaching their fifth birthday – it’s shocking and tragic especially when the solutions are simple – things like vaccinations against measles or using a mosquito net to reduce the chance of getting malaria. Saving these children’s lives is a top priority for UNICEF and as an ambassador I hope I can help to draw attention to this issue across the world.”
Beckham helped raise $185,500 for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) by auctioning off two tickets to the World Cup party on eBay. He was entered into NSPCC’s Hall of Fame in 2004.
In March, 2008, Beckham visited Xinhua Hospital in Shanghai to visit children with leukemia.
Over the past 10 years, David Beckham has played a crucial role in UNICEF’s work to save and improve the lives of children. Key Highlights include:
- In 2005, David Beckham helped launch an appeal and pack emergency supplies for children affected by the Tsunami
at UNICEF’s supply division in Copenhagen.
- In 2008 David visited Sierra Leone to launch UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report to focus global attention on
dying before their fifth birthday.
- In 2009 David visited South Africa to see UNICEF’s work with children and families living with HIV and AIDS
- In 2011 David helped launch UNICEF UK’s appeal for the East African food crisis.
- In 2012 David delivered an open letter with over 50 high profile signatories to UK Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of
a global hunger summit – helping to secure a commitment by world leaders to reduce child malnutrition by 2016.
- David helped to launch UNICEF’s appeal for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, in which 1.7 million children were displaced and
many lost their lives. David also travelled to the Philippines to meet children and families affected by the typhoon.
- In 2014 David recorded a video message supporting UNICEF’s fight to beat Ebola, which was broadcast across
Sierra Leone, one of the worst-affected countries, reaching over 2 million people.
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