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."

This Christmas, help support a vulnerable child with a life-changing gift from UNICEF's Inspired Gifts store.

 
David gets a hug from Shaina, 12. Shaina was abandoned by her parents and arrested for begging before moving to the children's shelter. She's now a star football player and wants to be a nurse when she grows up. © UNICEF/2011/Villafranca
David gets a hug from Shaina, 12. Shaina was abandoned by her parents and arrested for begging before moving to the children's shelter. She's now a star football player and wants to be a nurse when she grows up.© UNICEF/2011/Villafranca
Outside the shelter, there's always time for a kickabout. © UNICEF/2011/Villafranca
Outside the shelter, there's always time for a kickabout.© UNICEF/2011/Villafranca

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