Belfast Telegraph

Victoria honoured for charity work

Victoria Beckham was being celebrated for her philanthropic work tonight at the fifth annual Global Gift Gala.

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria was hosting the event with singer Ricky Martin at the Four Seasons hotel on London's Park Lane , where they presented Beckham with the Global Gift Philanthropreneur Award.

Longoria said: "Tonight is very special for me because I have two of my best friends here, Ricky being one and Victoria being the other.

"She's an amazing voice in this world and the fact that she's choosing to do it for the UN Aids Foundation is just wonderful, and should be applauded and should be recognised.

"So many people know Victoria as glamorous and fashionable, and they don't know all of this amazing work she's done - the trips she's made to Africa, the dedication she's put to learning all about the cause, it's all so admirable, so needed and so worth mentioning tonight."

Martin revealed that he started his charity The Ricky Martin Foundation after witnessing human trafficking firsthand.

He said: "Some years ago I went to India, I was invited by a friend who was building an orphanage. And as soon as I arrived at the airport he said to me 'Let's go on to the street and rescue some girls'.

"To make a long story short, we rescued that night three girls that were four, five and seven years old and they were about to be forced into prostitution.

"This is something that is happening all over the world, and unfortunately children are the most vulnerable victims. And I'm just trying to talk on their behalf."

Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, dancer Brian Friedman and Steve Jones were among the other guests in attendance.

Alexandre Burke opened the show with her rendition of Hallelujah.

She said: "Eva asked me to sing and I'm just so honoured to be a part of tonight."

The after-party was sponsored by Tia Maria and guests sipped Tia Longoria cocktails named in honour of the hostess.

Global Gift Foundation is a non-profit organisation that encourages celebrities to use their wealth and fame to create a positive impact on the lives of children, women and families around the world.

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