David Beckham in Manila

Taking time off from a farewell tour with his football team LA Galaxy, David Beckham made a surprise visit today to a UNICEF-supported children’s shelter in Manila.

“It’s so important to have a dream,” Beckham told children at the shelter, many of whom were abandoned by their parents and rescued from the streets.

It is estimated that 100 million children live and work on streets around the world. Here at UNICEF, we work to help these vulnerable children get back into a caring, supportive environment.

“As a Dad with young children, I can’t imagine how life was for these children,” said Beckham, who’s been a UNICEF Ambassador since 2005. “UNICEF is doing incredible work for street children in Manila.”

At the shelter, David took part in sewing sessions, art classes and was entertained by an impromptu rap and dance session.

At the end of the visit, he joined the children for a 20-minute football game, teaching them some of his famous skills.

“Simple games like football build self esteem and offers a road back to community life,” he said.

Conan, 17, has been staying at the shelter for ten years after he was abandoned by his parents.

“I can’t believe we had such a famous footballer come and play with us,” Conan told us. “We’re such a small team, with harldy any equipment. But I feel very special now, and even more determined to improve my game.”

“All these children have been failed by adults in the crucial early years of their lives,” David said. “I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my parents – every child deserves that, every child deserves a second chance.”

“UNICEF knows that simple gifts like footballs and story books can transform a child’s life. That’s true everywhere.”

Taking time off from a farewell tour with his football team LA Galaxy, David Beckham made a surprise visit today to a UNICEF-supported children’s shelter in Manila.

“It’s so important to have a dream,” Beckham told children at the shelter, many of whom were abandoned by their parents and rescued from the streets.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham meets young people in a UNICEF-supported centre for children who once lived and worked on the streets of the Philippines capital.

The centre is managed by social workers and house parents who provide the care, guidance and support needed by children to help them recover from the difficult experiences in their lives.

David tries on a graduation gown sewn by children at the centre. Sewing classes are part of the livelihood programmes in the centre, teaching skills as well as providing clothes for the children.

David plays football with young people from the UNICEF-supported centre. Football is a lifeline for the children in the centre as it helps them build confidence, strength and self-esteem.

Beckham meets five young people from the centre who once lived and worked on the streets. Children working and living on the streets, especially in large urban centres, are vulnerable to violence, drug abuse, criminal gangs, exploitation and traffic accidents. It’s a tough environment to be a child, and many grow up far too fast.

David gets a hug from Shaina, a 12 year old girl currently living at the centre. Abandoned by her parents at a very young age, Shaina was picked up on a street for begging and was brought to the centre after her grandmother died. Now Shaina is a star football player and wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

David looks at artwork by children from the centre, showing the story of their lives. Art classes are part of a programme to help children recover and get back a sense of normality in their lives.

With the right support and encouragement, children can choose to leave the streets and find a way back to mainstream society. By building their self-esteem, and taking opportunities to learn, these children gain a second chance at life.

This centre in Manila is just one UNICEF-supported project. We work all over the world to protect children living and working in dangerous settings, like the streets of big cities. Donate to UNICEF’s work with children.

Find more like this: Features, Sports


  1. Ramanuj Dad says:

    Thank you Beckham, For being with philippines children, I am happy for them. and so proud of their future and I’m sure tomorrow will be bright for them.

  2. thanks becks. i live in india, journalist by profession. frankly speaking, i am blind fan of you. excellent. love you.

  3. This is great Mr Beckham, wish I am also there in my homeland the Philippines, nice to see you visited our less fortunate children in the Philippines, you have such a kind heart, that’s why you are blessed with beautiful wife, lovely children and successful athlete! Well done God bless +++. Pia Azucena from United Kingdom

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for giving inspirations to our less unfortunate children in our country PILIPPINES.

  5. panchang810 says:

    Wow, I love DB more. He’s not just an international celebrity and a topnotch world athlete but a very down-to-earth person who seemingly has a sincere heart that beats for the poor and less fortunate. I love him more indeed.

    Sobrang swerte naman ni Victoria. And those kids, how lucky to be hugged by David and have such joyous moments with DB. Nice indeed. ;o)

  6. Cynthia Dantes Merado says:

    David is a wonderful human being. British not US. And very good looking!

  7. […] Timing worked out perfectly in that the David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team were making a visit to Manila at the same time we would be there. Mimi diligently reloaded the webpage for ticket sales for hours […]

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