New York: Former footballer David Beckham was seen getting very emotional during his speech at the launch of Voices of Youth — an organisation set up by Unicef to empower children — at the United Nations headquarters here on Thursday.
The former England captain, who will be seen acting in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming epic adventure film “Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur”, had to control himself as he talked about a four-year-old girl who died during the 2013 Philippines typhoon.
Beckham cleared his throat and admitted that the incident “really affected me”.
“I met a family in the Philippines – a mother and a father, with two young girls, Venus and Viana – who wanted to tell their story,” reports aceshowbiz.com.
“On the night the typhoon hit, the family was on their roof trying to protect themselves. The mother, tired, scared, exhausted, said to the father, ‘can you please take Viana’, so the father did. He has Venus and Viana in his arms. Unfortunately the father was knocked off the roof by one of the waves,” Beckham added.
The star also said that it was “one of the most devastating stories I heard”.
“He woke up six hours later holding one of the girls. This was the night of the typhoon. A day-and-half later unfortunately, Viana was found face down and unfortunately she had died,” he said.
He then discussed about Unicef’s “great work” in rebuilding house, families and schools.
“Rebuilding schools gave Venus and the other children in the village a bit of normality. That story will never leave me,” he choked as he said this.
Beckham, who has been a Unicef Ambassador for 10 years, said during his speech: “I want a world where children can grow up safe from war, violence, poverty and preventable disease. Don’t you?”
First Published | 25 September 2015 4:48 PM