The Jakarta Post
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in Monaco in February 2018. (AFP/Valery Hache)
The pandemic has shut down schools around the globe and this dramatic shift in lifestyle is feared to have a drastic impact on the mental health of children.
Some organizations are addressing this issue with fundraising campaigns aimed at children, with the help of celebrity voices.
Yahoo, part of Verizon Media, has partnered with the GEANCO Foundation, an organization that provides medical aid in Nigeria, to create a new podcast called STOR14S.
A 14-part series that premiered on June 18, it features children’s stories narrated by renowned actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Russell Brand, Zoe Saldana and more.
STOR14S aims to raise money for GEANCO, which provides coronavirus relief and emergency aid in Nigeria. Part of the aid includes training nurses and midwives to help stop the spread of the virus. GEANCO is also donating materials such as gloves, face masks, soap and sanitizer to maternity centers in Nigeria.
“Focusing on our mental health has never been more urgent, and we hope STOR14S will inspire families during this very difficult time,” Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said in a statement.
STOR14S will continue throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer months until its final episode, which will be released on Aug. 3. The program is available on all podcast platforms and on Yahoo.
Save the Children, an organization working to improve the living conditions of children around the world, is also making use of children’s stories and celebrity with a program called Save with Stories.
The campaign was launched by actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams. Proceeds go to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, a child hunger aid organization.
“We are tremendously grateful to Jennifer and Amy for supporting this critical effort to help children who are most affected by these unprecedented school closures,” Betsy Zorio, vice president of Save the Children’s Unitec States Programs and Advocacy, said in a statement.
Save with Stories posts children’s stories read by celebrities and other notable public figures on Instagram. The campaign aims to raise funds to “make sure schools and community programs have the support they need” and distribute books, learning resources and meals to families in need.
Celebrities who have participated so far include Kate Winslet, Jamie Lee Curtis, Donnie Yen, Taye Diggs and Ayesha Curry. (jes/kes)
“Sarabella's Thinking Cap” by Judy Schachner (published by @penguinkids) - read by #KateWinslet . THIRTY MILLION CHILDREN rely on school for food. Responding to the needs of kids during these school closures, @savethechildren and @nokidhungry have a new fund @SAVEWITHSTORIES to support food banks, and mobile meal trucks, and community feeding programs with funds to do what they do best—and also—with educational toys, books, and worksheets to make sure brains are full, as well as bellies. . If you can manage a one time gift of $10, please text SAVE to 20222. If another amount would work better for you, please visit our website—link in bio. There is no maximum and there is no minimum—together we will rise and together we can help. . Thank you and stay safe. XX #SAVEWITHSTORIES
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