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As if we didn't love him enough, David Beckham has proven once again, he isn't just a pretty face. The footballer is Unicef's Goodwill ambassador and of course, is an adoring dad to four children. The star has us swooning and sobbing as he pens the realities of being a dad for Unicef's early childhood development campaign, Early Moments Matter.

Here is the heartwarming letter: 

"There are many emotions that run through us when we think about our children. But for me and for the many dads and mums I’ve spoken to about parenting over the years, it comes down to two things – love and fear. It is these emotions that push us to achieve more for our children, every day.

I recently travelled to Indonesia with Unicef, to Semarang in the Central Java Province to see the work of my 7 Fund for Unicef, which is helping the most vulnerable children get the best start in life, by empowering them to speak out, providing them with support, and protecting them from violence so they can unlock their incredible potential.

While I was in Semarang I met with a group of dads and their young children. We sat together, discussing the realities of fatherhood. And this notion of love and fear that takes over when we have kids, rang true in every one of them.

 

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This Early Childhood Development centre in the community is run so that parents and their young children have a place to spend time together and have a safe place to read and play together so I joined in one afternoon.

There is one dad in particular that I won’t forget. Imam, a 31-year-old father of a little boy called Vincent. Imam spent the first year of his son’s life working long days to try and make ends meet. He missed many precious early moments – the moments that often stay in our minds forever. His first laugh, his first words, his first steps,

Imam missed all of these to put food on the table. Focusing on being the main breadwinner was a tough ‘decision’ for him to make and one that left him full of fear. In the brief moments they would spend together, his son didn’t want to be near him. Imam feared that he’d missed his chance to build a special bond with Vincent.

He feared his child would grow up thinking his father didn’t love him, when actually his love is what pushed him to do his best to earn enough to give his child all the things he could ever need.

 

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On the day I met this father and son – whose story I imagine resonates with millions of dads across the world – you’d never guess that there was a day where Vincent didn’t want to be near his dad. He was clambering all over him, pulling at his face, laughing in response to the shapes he was making with dad’s cheeks.

Imam made the hard decision to change and to risk the income he really needed to support his family. He managed to get a new job, and as a result he was able to work less hours and spend more time with his son.

Imam now takes on a much bigger role in parenting – preparing his food, picking out his clothes, getting him bathed and dressed. But the biggest change he tells me about is the fact he now has time to play – one of the most important ways of building a child into who they will become.

In the fathers’ group I also met Ary, a father of two girls whose youngest is the same age as my daughter Harper. He told me about how he copes with his daily frustrations and anxiety.

 

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To cope, Ary told me that when he felt stressed, he would go on a fast bike ride to burn off some steam and to focus his thoughts. Even just a short bike ride would mean that when he arrived back home he would be able to be present and in the right state of mind to spend quality time with his kids.

It really helped me to talk to the group of dads in this way, and I’d encourage more dads to talk and share their experiences. Imam and Ary reminded me of when my kids were small; I didn’t want to miss a second, but of course there were times that I couldn’t be there. I feared they would do something for the first time and I wouldn’t be there to see it.

Just like Imam, I knew that spending as much quality time with my kids as I could, especially when they were young, was the most important thing in the world. And like Ary, I also realised pretty quickly, that there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to do with our kids so as long as we make whatever the time available to us quality time, where we are present, as dads we’re winning.

I know through my work with Unicef that the first 1,000 days of life are the most critical time for a baby’s brain development, and their experiences during this time can have lifelong consequences – good and bad.

 

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We as parents all have an incredible opportunity to shape how our children’s brains develop. But without support, parents will continue to struggle to give their babies the play time, good food, and a whole lot of love they need.

All the fathers that I met spoke of their dreams and aspirations for their children. Every generation wants the next to be better, to have more opportunities and achieve their full potential. But we need to start from the very beginning to make this possible.

I’m still learning new things about fatherhood every day. You never stop learning. I was 24 when I had Brooklyn. Four kids now and nearly 20 years of experience as a father, and you never stop learning.

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From Alun Kurdi, who drowned while fleeing his homeland, to Omran Daqneesh ,whose bloodied face stared out at us from the front pages of international newspapers, the plight of Syria’s children has, time and again, left millions desperately seeking answers.

And, according to UNICEF, which promotes the rights and well-being of children, the situation is getting drastically worse with every passing day.

Since just last Friday, 96 children have been killed in Eastern Aleppo while 223 have been injured.

“The children of Aleppo are trapped in a living nightmare,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth. “There are no words left to describe the suffering they are experiencing.”

And with just 30 doctors left and a severe lack of medical equipment and emergency medicine, officials fear for the lives of the children left.

Commenting on the bloodshed he sees on a daily basis, a doctor on the ground insisted: “Nothing can justify such assaults on children and such total disregard for human life.”

“The suffering – and the shock among children – is definitely the worst we have seen,” he added.

Along with their partners, UNICEF works across 190 countries and focuses special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children in the world.

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If you think it's cold here, spare a thought for poor David Beckham. 

The retired footballer is currently making his way through seven matches on all seven continents – and his latest match took place in Antarctica. 

David is taking part in the challenge as part of his duties as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, and he's been keeping his loyal fans updated on his journey via Instagram. 

Yesterday he shared a snap of him getting ready for the football match in the icy weather. He sure looks cosy though, wrapped in a big red coat and hat. 

 

Game day #loveofthegame @unicef

A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

The 40-year-old captioned his picture: "Just marked the pitch out … Anyone see the corner flag behind me?? game 5 Antarctica WOW no words !!!!"

He later posted another photo, capturing the stunning backdrop of where his match took place. 

 

Bunny ears are the same everywhere in the world @UNICEF #loveofthegame

A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

David's journey has already seen him play games in Nepal and Papua New Guinea. 

He was also seen taking time out of his UNICEF duties to play with the children of the shantytowns he visited. 

Speaking of his epic challenge, Mr Beckham told the BBC, "I remember sitting on a plane and discussing this idea with friends and never thinking it would become a reality."

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David Beckham was close to tears as he recalled the death of a four-year old girl in the Philippines when he spoke at the United Nations.

The father of four said that he was really affected by the story of Viana who was taken from her father’s arms and later drowned when they were caught in the 2013 typhoon.

The retired soccer star is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and recalled how he had spoken to the young girl’s family, including her sister Venus, who had managed to survive the disaster.

''On the night the typhoon hit the family were 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 explained.

David was said to have struggled to maintain his composure as he recalled how the young girl’s father was knocked from the roof by a wave and when he woke was holding only one of his daughters.

“That story will never leave me,” he told the crowd.

He gave his speech at the launch of Voices of Youth, a global community of youth bloggers giving young people the opportunity to learn about development issues.

He told those present his wish for children around the world:

“I want a world where children can grow up safe from war, violence, poverty and preventable disease – don't you?"

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Over the last 48 hours the biggest news story in Europe has been the refugee crisis in Hungary and Turkey.

Following the emergence of distressing images of a young refugee, named Aylan Kurdi, found lying face down on a beach in Bodrum, many people have been expressing their opinions on the matter.

Among these has been former Munster rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan. The 36-year old Cork native has been a UNICEF ambassador for the past six years. In recent times he was among a group who visited Syria.

He spoke about the difficult decisions that families in Syria have been facing for the last four years.

Speaking as a father he said that seeing the image in the newspaper was horrible. Knowing the conditions that these parents are living in he said they need our help.

During his visit he noted that many of the refuges in the camp have immense respect for Irish people. UNICEF staff explained it is because of Irish peacekeepers in the area whom they know will help them.

His comments on the situation are both heartfelt and powerful. You can see his the full video below:

Donncha O'Callaghan

Watch rugby star Donncha O'Callaghan's heartfelt plea for action over refugee crisis

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, 3 September 2015

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This is a real advert created by UNICEF to target the inhabitants of India who defecate in the open. About half the country’s population of 620 million people do not regularly use toilets, the charity says, answering the call of nature wherever they are.

The catchy song has been written by Shri who has created stunning compositions such as the theme for the film Life of Pi.

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