|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham|
NEW YORK, 12 January 2005 - David Beckham joined the UNICEF team this week to help pack educational and medical supplies for shipment to children affected by the tsunami.
In his first appearance as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Mr Beckham visited UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is working seven days a week to dispatch items needed for children’s immediate survival and recovery from trauma.
The English football star, who plays for his country and Real Madrid, also recorded a video message urging public support for UNICEF’s response to the disaster in Asia, which left 150,000 dead and thousands of children orphaned.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has launched a $144.5 million appeal to support urgent humanitarian aid for the estimated 1.5 million affected children in Asia who are in critical need of basic care and support. To make a donation please click here.
Beckham’s 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) will serve as a valuable fundraising and advocacy tool for UNICEF offices across the world to assist UNICEF’s emergency relief operation.
|David Beckham greets UNICEF staff in Copenhagen|
“I, like any other person, was deeply moved by the effects of the tsunami disaster. So many people have lost loved ones and particularly children have suffered greatly with over a million who are vulnerable and at risk of disease,” Mr. Beckham said.
“People have been so generous to date and it is important that they continue to donate money to organizations such as UNICEF to help in aid relief and reconstruction. It is one of the proudest moments of my life to be given the role of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and I hope to play a part in supporting these children at their time of need,” he added.
Mr. Beckham also helped load a plane with UNICEF supplies. Essential emergency items airlifted to the tsunami-affected countries include health kits, measles vaccines, oral rehydration salts, water purification kits as well as school-in-a-box and sport-in-a-box kits as part of the long term relief effort.
One of UNICEF’s priorities for children affected by the tsunami is to help them cope with their trauma by getting them back to school as soon as possible returning a sense of normality to their lives. Sport and play is recognized as effective trauma therapy for children displaced by war and natural disaster and the sport-in-a-box kit provides equipment for 40 children to participate in team sports and games.
Beckham joins Team UNICEF with a special focus on UNICEF’s Sports for Development programme, which promotes the power of sport to improve the lives of children, particularly those affected by poverty, disease and conflict.
Working with partners, UNICEF is incorporating opportunities for sport in its country programmes to reach children, families and communities around the world. In this role, David Beckham will lend his knowledge and skill as a sportsman to UNICEF’s expertise in development to support this important work.
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said: “We are absolutely delighted that David Beckham has come on board as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The global TV appeal he has recorded will be enormously useful to help UNICEF meet the immediate survival needs of children affected by the tsunami in the short term and in the weeks and months ahead as they rebuild their lives. We are also looking forward to working together with David in the long term to use his expertise as a sportsman to support our Sport for Development programme."
A long-standing supporter of UNICEF, David Beckham was introduced to UNICEF at Manchester United. The club has raised over £1.2 million for the organization through the 'United for UNICEF' partnership.
Beckham joins a number of high-profile UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, including Harry Belafonte, Sir Roger Moore, Mia Farrow, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor all of whom continue to give up their time and energy to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the world’s children.
12 January 2005:
Listen to interview with David Beckham, UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador
Broadcasters click here for high-quality MP3 file