A Stellar Cast for Podcast STOR14S for Relief Aid in Africa

A Stellar Cast for Podcast STOR14S for Relief Aid in Africa

June 17, 2020

Yahoo and The GEANCO Foundation presents a global podcast series STOR14S with a swathe of A-List Actors that includes Russell Brand, Rachel Brosnahan, David Oyelowo, Zoe Saldana and many others leading a 14-part children’s short stories series that aims to raise COVID-19 relief aid for Africa.

Yahoo, part of Verizon Media, and The GEANCO Foundation announces the launch of STOR14S, a new global podcast featuring children’s short stories narrated by a renowned cast of leading actors and influencers.

The podcast aims to take families on an adventure that transports them out of their homes to exciting, new places. The 14-part series will premiere on Thursday June 18, with new episodes airing every Monday and Thursday. Global audiences can listen in on all podcast platforms and visit the official series pages on Yahoo Life and Yahoo Style UK.

STOR14S will feature GEANCO ambassadors Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Thandie Newton (Westworld), and David Oyelowo (Selma), and more, as they narrate short stories and help raise money for the foundation’s coronavirus relief and emergency aid. The stories were selected through a Yahoo writing competition for the public that was held throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan, the winning entries will take listeners on journeys through secret tunnels, mysterious bookshops and fictional African empires, providing light relief and entertainment during a very challenging time for families.

“Focusing on our mental health has never been more urgent, and we hope STOR14S will inspire families during this very difficult time.  We are committed to continue to use our platform to drive change, bring stories that should be told to life and amplify awareness for voices and organizations like GEANCO, and their efforts that are making a true difference in people’s lives,” says Gowrappan.

GEANCO claims it is donating gloves, face masks, soap, sanitizer and disinfectant to hospitals and maternity centers in Nigeria, and training maternity nurses and traditional birth attendants to prevent the spread of the virus in maternity clinics. The foundation is also donating tablets preloaded with hundreds of books to children quarantined in their villages. All talent fees for the series were donated to GEANCO, with Verizon Media donating commercial inventory for direct display ads to the foundation to raise awareness for the vital work it’s doing across Nigeria along with providing listeners with links to donate to their prevention efforts.

Commenting on the partnership, Actor David Oyelowo says he is pleased to use storytelling a medium for aid relief in Nigeria.

“I am really happy to be lending my voice to this creative effort to support GEANCO’s critically important coronavirus initiatives in Nigeria, through the power of storytelling.  I’m also delighted that my friends from the entertainment industry have joined me in bringing attention to a continent that is especially vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic,” says Oyelowo.

GEANO CEO Afam Onyema agrees.

“We are honored to partner with Yahoo and our celebrity supporters on such a fun and compelling podcast series. STOR14S will empower us to save more lives and educate more vulnerable children in Nigeria,” says Onyema.

The full list of narrators and stories includes:

  • Jack’s Dream, June 18, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • The Emperor’s Daughter, June 22, David Oyelowo
  • Mr Oviarty’s Mysterious Bookshop, June 25 Jeff Daniels
  • The Diary of Primrose Goldie Gold, June 29, Megalyn Echikunwoke
  • The Sunshine Cake, July 6, Aldis Hodge
  • Aargh! There’s a Monster in my School! July 2, Russell Brand
  • Matty Hides in Midgeton, July 9, Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • The Dog that would be a Prince, July 13, Rachel Brosnahan
  • Flying Colours, July 16, Edi Gathegi
  • Polly Tumpkin’s Pumpkin, July 20, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Magic Squirrels, July 23, Thandie Newton
  • Being Mean, July 27, Sam Adegoke
  • The Runaways, July 30, Zoe Saldana; and
  • Dragons Like Shiny Things, August 3, Lonnie Chavis

According to Gowrappan, the story writing competition for STOR14S derives from a wider commitment from Verizon Media’s focus on mental health and wellness.

Gowrappan says last month, Verizon Media announced a USD 10 million donation in advertising inventory to support mental and public health response efforts to address COVID-19.

The inventory is being used to raise awareness and mobilize resources, deepening Verizon Media’s longstanding commitment to supporting the health of the global community at large. Verizon Media says it will also provide campaign support including creative services and management.

Verizon Media also launched a two part series “Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset” a virtual event discussing mental health and wellness which brought together newsmakers, athletes, celebrities, medical experts and industry thought leaders including Serena Williams, Shailene Woodley, Hilaria Baldwinm, Emily Baldoni, Kevin Love, Deepak Chopra and more.

(Ed. The podcast will be available globally on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Yahoo Life and other podcasters, distributed by Acast.)

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