He’s a football star, a fashion mogul and a prospective sport team owner, but David Beckham is in no doubt as to his most pressing concern.
It’s a charitable collaboration with UNICEF — the world’s leading organisation for children — providing help to kids in danger zones across the globe.
“My number one priority is the ‘7’ fund,” Beckham told CNN at the launch in London.
Seven was the number emblazoned on the back of Beckham’s shirt as he shot to stardom and he now hopes it will now bring hope to children who are at risk from numerous dangers, including those effected by the Ebola crisis.
Beckham, who retired from playing in May 2013, is keen for his own children — Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper — to understand the plight of others across the globe.
“Children need to be aware of what is going on around the world and the emergencies that are happening,” said Beckham of the disasters that millions of children face worldwide.
“My little girl is obviously too young to understand… Daddy goes away and Daddy comes home and shows her pictures of people that he has helped while he has been away… You protect them, you shelter them but there are certain things you can’t hide from them.”
It’s been 10 years since Beckham first took up role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, describing himself as very proud of this “next phase of my life.”
Through “7,” Beckham also hopes to fund counseling and support for children in El Salvador, a country which is battling the world’s highest homicide rate. The project could also provide clean water for kids in Burkina Faso, among other initiatives.
Beckham’s career saw him play for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain, while he also captained the England team.
“Obviously I have worked hard on the field for the last 22 years,” said Beckham of his success.
His contribution was lauded by Paloma Escudero of UNICEF’s global management team, who said in a statement: “David Beckham has dedicated his 10 years as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to speaking up for those who need it most — the world’s most vulnerable children.
“Through 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, we can act together to drive positive change for children.”