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By Jacob Hunt
30 August 2017

We’ve come to know them as familiar faces of entertainment and sport but, behind the cameras, these stars have been working hard at their most important job yet: fatherhood.

These celebrities are doing everything they can to shower their children with love, play, good nutrition and protection. They know that a child’s early years are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape brain development and set the foundations of a good life, so they don’t want to miss a moment.

Here’s what they’ve learned about fatherhood.

Adam Liaw

Adam and his sonSupplied

Since winning MasterChef in 2010, Adam Liaw has become one of Australia’s favourite cooks, authors and television presenters. He travels the world with Destination Flavour, writes prolifically and speaks out as UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Nutrition. And somehow, he always finds quality time with his two young children.

“I travel a lot so for me the best moments are just the everyday things that I miss when I’m away - building Lego, cooking in the kitchen, playing down at the park, or even just reading a book together,” he explains.

Liaw says fatherhood has shown him the enormous potential in all children.

“Every day I get to see how the smallest thing to a child – a kind word, a guiding hand, a meal, a seed of knowledge – can become a huge influence over time.”

“It’s made me believe even more strongly that UNICEF is helping people at the most important point of their lives. The point when a single action will have the biggest impact, whether that’s on a single child today, a family tomorrow, a community the next day, and even the whole world in the future.”

David Beckham

David Beckham and his familySupplied

He’s one of the world’s biggest soccer stars, admired by legions of fans around the world for his skills on the field. But to his children, David Beckham is simply Dad.

“The moments I share with my children are incredibly special,” says the doting father. “Whether that's laughing together when they tell me things about their day on the drive home from school, reading one of their favourite books to them at bedtime or spending time together on holiday.”

“Through my work with UNICEF I've met so many inspiring dads around the world. Dads who want to ensure their children have the best start in life and will do anything to give them the support and love they need even when faced with huge challenges.”

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin and childrenSupplied

Everything changed for Ricky Martin the moment he became a father.

“Definitely the decisions that I make today, even for my career, are based on the well-being of my children,” he says. “It’s not about you anymore. There’s no more sleeping late! And I’m only starting; I want a big family.”

Martin’s career as a world-renowned singer certainly keeps him busy but the star is clear about his top priority: giving his children all the love and support they need to thrive.

Ricky Martin meets with Syrian refugee children at safe space which UNICEF supports in Lebanon.
Ricky Martin meets with Syrian refugee children at safe space which UNICEF supports in Lebanon.

As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Martin is also speaking out for children in crisis. Last year, he visited families who have fled the war in Syria and struggled to find a decent life as refugees in Lebanon.

“The world must do more to make sure these children are protected from exploitation and given access to safe environments where they can learn and be empowered,” he said.

Martin met children who are learning in safe spaces with UNICEF’s support, and saw for himself the transformative power of education.

“They are gaining the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to their families, communities and societies when they reach adulthood," said Martin.

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin talking©UNICEF/UNI167209/Matas

“When I was a young child, my father gave me the right amount of love, freedom and support to shape who I am today,” says UNICEF Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar.

Now, the cricket icon is determined to show his own children the same care and support.

“Every kid needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and development, and it’s up to both parents to provide these.”

“I want to give my children the freedom of what they want to be in life,” says Tendulkar. “I just have to guide them, encourage them and support them… Exactly what my parents did for me.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic meets with a family at a ‘child-friendly space’ supported by UNICEF in Serbia.
Novak Djokovic meets with a family at a ‘child-friendly space’ supported by UNICEF in Serbia.

Novak Djokovic knows that early moments matter.

“As a father, I’ve seen for myself the impact that every smile, every bit of love, and every positive action has had on my child during these precious early years of life,” says the twelve-time Grand Slam champion.

“Being a new parent isn’t easy. There are many challenges that fathers across the world face,” says Djokovic. And that’s why he’s supporting UNICEF’s global celebration of Super Dads.

“This campaign is about supporting and encouraging fathers so they can be the Super Dads their kids desperately need.”

Do you know a Super Dad?

Your dad may not be famous but this Father’s Day, you can make him feel like a star.

Buy an Inspired Gift for Father's Day to show him you appreciate all the love, time and support over the years. It will help dads like him around the world to protect their children from malnutrition.

Here’s how it works:

1. Purchase an ethical charity gift from our Inspired Gifts store to give a child the best chance to survive childhood and grow up healthy.

2. A personalised card will be sent to your dad telling him about the life-saving impact he’s making.

3. Life-saving supplies will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse to wherever they're most needed.

There's no better way to say thanks for everything your dad did to give you the best start in life. Buy one instantly to make Dad's day and forever change the lives of vulnerable children.

Send a gift to dad