David Beckham has temporarily handed over control of his Instagram account to a doctor in war-torn Ukraine in a bid to highlight the harsh working conditions there.
In the hours following Sunday’s announcement by the soccer legend and UNICEF ambassador, Beckham’s Instagram Stories filled with footage and photos showing Iryna – manager of a perinatal center and pediatric anesthetist in the eastern city of Kharkiv – going about her business in the most difficult of circumstances.
Beckham’s 71.5 million Instagram followers have learned that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, Iryna and many others like her have been working around the clock to care for mothers and of their newborns under constant threat of attack by Russian forces.
“The first days were the hardest,” Iryna says in one of the stories, “because we had to deal with shelling and strikes.”
Iryna notes that UNICEF has delivered vital supplies to Ukraine for many years and has established an efficient logistics network, although the strength of this network is now strained by current conditions.
“We are probably risking our lives, but we don’t think about it at all. We love our work,” Iryna says in one of the stories, adding, “A big thank you to the whole world for the support.”
Former England international Beckham has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for 17 years and launched in 2015 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund aimed at helping vulnerable children reach their true potential.
“I’m handing over my social media to Iryna, the manager of the regional perinatal center in Kharkiv, Ukraine,” the former LA Galaxy player and current co-owner of Inter Miami CF said on Sunday in a video posted to his Instagram account. . “There, she works with pregnant women to help them give birth safely.”
Beckham added: “Thanks to your donations, the oxygen generators they have received are helping newborn babies to survive in appalling conditions. Head over to my stories to learn more about the amazing work Iryna and health workers like her are doing to save lives. Please continue to support these amazing people and charities like UNICEF in any way you can. Together we can really make a difference.