Rio Ferdinand created a Twitter stir today by posting a series of comedy twitpics in support of our campaign asking the government to speak up for children at the Rio Earth Summit. In the hours after the footballer posted his first cryptic twitpic hundreds of people including Ewan McGregor re-tweeted the #Rio4Rio message.
"Speaking as a Rio, I know life isn’t all carnivals, beaches and playing football," explained the Manchester United player. "At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro global leaders will discuss the future of the planet and we want them to think about the world's children. That's why I'm speaking up for children with UNICEF UK and hope that everyone who follows me on Twitter will do the same."
Ferdinand, a longstanding UNICEF UK supporter, is helping to raise awareness of our campaign to ensure children are at the heart of the Rio Earth Summit's agenda. He's among thousands who have signed an online petition, which will be delivered to the Deputy Prime Minister ahead of the summit.
His first tweet, posted on Tuesday lunchtime, read "Everyone’s asking 'What's happening with Rio?'" alongside a picture of the footballer looking quizzical.
The second tweet, posted a few hours later, showed a picture of Ferdinand against a backdrop of Rio de Janeiro. The tweet reads: "Next week Rio De Janeiro hosts #RioPlus20 to plan our planet's future. But will children's voices be heard?" with the hashtag #Rio4Rio.
A third picture tweeted later in the evening showed Ferdinand in a feathered purple carnival headdress along with the tweet "#RioPlus20 is our chance to make a better world for children. I've signed the petition... your turn."
In a final tweet, Ferdinand urged his supporters to "Speak Up! Put children 1st at #RioPlus20: Sign the petition & help @unicef_uk save children's lives bit.ly/KfUlNW #rio4rio RT!" Over 5,000 have already signed up.
You can speak up for children too by signing our petition to ask the Government to put children first at Rio.