Beckham touched by kids’ plight in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines—Unicef Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, on a brief visit in the Philippines, met and was touched by children living and working on the streets.
The football star visited on Friday a center in a Manila suburb and met street children aged from 7 to 17. The center is being assisted by Unicef and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“As a father, I can’t imagine how life was for these young children living and working on the streets.
They are exposed to so many threats and dangers, and are missing out on the basics in life—having people around who love and guide them,” he said after meeting some of the children.
Some 250,000 children are living and working on the streets where they are exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation. Unicef works to help these vulnerable children leave the streets and get back into a caring, supportive environment either with their parents, other relatives, or temporary centers.
Beckham was welcomed to the center by the manager, Siony Flores, who explained to him the profile and background of the 130 children temporarily staying there.
“Here we give the children guidance, care and opportunities to learn new skills. But the real focus is on helping them integrate back into their communities, with their families or relatives where a caring home environment can take them forward in their lives,” Flores said.
Beckham was taking around the center by the children themselves. He took part in sewing sessions and art classes and was entertained by an impromptu rap and dance session.
Throughout his visit, the children helped him learn about the reality of their lives.
Beckham was visibly touched by the experience. “While many of these children have been through tough experiences in their young lives, like any child they still have hopes and dreams. The staff here has a huge responsibility and they are doing an amazing job giving these children the love, guidance and care they’ve been missing,” he said.
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