New York: Former English football star David Beckham held back tears during his speech at the launch of Voices of Youth at the United Nations. Beckham (40) had to compose himself as he talked about a four-year-old girl, who died during the 2013 Philippines typhoon, reported New York Daily News.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. PIC/AFP
The former professional footballer cleared his throat and admitted that it “really affected me.” He added: “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. 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. He woke up six hours later holding only one of the girls,” David added, as his voice choked.
“This was the the night of the typhoon. A day and a half later unfortunately Viana was found face down and unfortunately she had died. This was one of the most devastating stories I heard. But then I saw the great work Unicef was doing rebuilding houses, rebuilding families, and rebuilding schools.
“Rebuilding schools gave Venus and the other children in the village a bit of normality. That story will never leave me,” said Beckham who has been a UNICEF Ambassador for 10 years.