The tender moment David Beckham gave baby a polio vaccine during moving visit to children in typhoon-ravaged Philippines
- Beckham visited the storm-devastated Philippine city of Tacloban today
- He visited hundreds of people while taking part in UNICEF’s relief efforts
- He administered polio medication to babies and played football in the street
- Beckham was greeted by hundreds of excited young boys when he arrived
The former footballer used his celebrity status and sporting skills to entertain locals in the city of Tacloban as part of UNICEF’s relief efforts, vaccinating four babies during his 30-minute stay.
Beckham, 38, was welcomed by hundreds of children who have been living in United Nations-provided tents outside a stadium since super Typhoon Haiyan struck in November, killing more than 6,200 people and leaving tens of thousands of survivors homeless.
Medicine man: David smiled adoringly at one young child while giving them a polio vaccination
The Beckham Effect: the superstar player delighted children with his playful approach to their plight
The father of four mets babies and mothers who survived Typhoon Haiyan and are being helped by UNICEF and partners to have a safe haven to play with their babies as well as learn about the best nutrition for their babies
David Beckham playing with children affected by Typhoon Haiyan at a school in the typhoon devastated town of Tanauan in Leyte province, Philippines
Speaking after the visit, Beckham said: ‘I was humbled to visit Tacloban and see how people are still so full of spirit despite the devastation they have suffered’
Arriving wearing a black UNICEF T-shirt with a pair of grey skinny jeans, Beckham also wore a backwards hat and some brown leather boots for the trip, his second to the region.
As he entered the village he was greeted by hundreds of excited boys who were keen to meet one of the world’s most successful sportsmen.
Moved by the reception, he then played a friendly match with them before stopping to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Shortly afterwards the 38-year-old icon stopped for photographs with children inside a large white tent used as a classroom as they showed him their art works.
Beckham then began administering polio medication to young children in the tent, vaccinating four babies, all of them under the age of one.
England football superstar David Beckham is greeted by children-survivors of super Typhoon-Haiyan prior to a football game at a school ground in Tanuan town
England football superstar David Beckham carries a boy on his shoulders during a football game with children-survivors of the country’s latest natural disaster
Star power: David visited a school in Tanuan town, Leyte province, central Philippines on Valentine’s Day
Speaking after the visit, Beckham said: ‘I was humbled to visit Tacloban and see how people are still so full of spirit despite the devastation they have suffered.
‘Close to six million children are affected and many have lost loved ones,’ said Beckham. ‘As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, seeing how children are being given a sense of normality amidst the rubble of their communities has been amazing,’ he added.
‘I want to show people around the world how their generous donations have had an enormous impact on children and their families and how thankful people here are for their kindness.’
Zafrin Chowdhury, spokeswoman for the UNICEF office in Manila, said Beckham was touched by the typhoon’s impact and wanted to meet displaced children and their families.
Head start: David carries a young survivor on his shoulders during the match, which delighted locals
England football superstar David Beckham gives comfort to survivors of the Asian country’s deadliest ever typhoon
That’s not five-a-side: The blonde football ace was besieged by delighted boys
England football superstar David Beckham signs autographs on the second day of his visit to the Philippiness
Beckham flew to the Philippines on February 13 to give comfort to survivors of the Asian country’s deadliest ever typhoon
He removed his shoes on entering a tent where a family has been living, stroking a sleeping infant’s hands as he spoke with family members.
Officials and UNICEF staff did not say what he and the family members talked about during his 30-minute stay.
It’s Beckham’s second trip to the Philippines as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He toured a shelter for former street children in Manila during his first visit in 2011 and also played an exhibition game with the Philippine national football team.
‘He felt very touched by what happened and that he wanted to come back, not do anything else – no meeting, no media – just to focus on children and meet them, encourage them and see for himself the situation,’ Chowdhury said.
Beckham made Valentines Day cards with children at the tented space where children play games and can access psychosocial support away from their devastated communities
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham meets child survivors of Typhoon Haiyan at a UNICEF-supported child friendly space at one of Tacloban’s major evacuation points
Beckham is now scheduled to visit a warehouse of the World Food Program in nearby Palo, which was also devastated by the typhoon.
The retired footballer and his pop star turned fashion designer wife Victoria, have previously donated some of their most expensive designer clothes and shoes to raise funds for the typhoon victims.
The typhoon displaced more than four million people in more than 40 provinces in the central Philippines. At least 1,700 are still missing.
Beckham’s visit to Tacloban followed trips by pop star Justin Bieber, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop