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Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo to narrate global podcast series STOR14S

The British actors are joined by international celebrities to read out children’s short stories as part of the initiative by Yahoo and the GEANCO Foundation in order to raise COVID-19 relief aid for Africa.

Our Correspondent

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, comedian Russell Brand, and actresses Rachel Brosnahan, Thandie Newton and Zoe Saldana are all part of an initiative presented by Yahoo and the GEANCO Foundation to narrate global podcast series STOR14S in order to lift up families and raise COVID-19 relief aid for Africa.

The 14-part global podcast series of children’s short stories premieres on 18 June and new episodes will air every Monday and Thursday until this August. Listeners from all over the world can tune on all podcast platforms and visit the official series pages on Yahoo Life and Yahoo Style UK. The podcast will be available globally on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other podcasters, and distributed by Acast.

The celebrities, who are also GEANCO ambassadors, will help to raise funds for coronavirus relief and emergency aid by narrating the short stories, which were selected by a Yahoo writing competition open to the public during the pandemic. According to a press release, “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.”

“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,” said actor and ambassador Oyelowo. “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.”

Megalyn Echikunwoke, Aldis Hodge, Edi Gathegi, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Sam Adegoke, and Lonnie Chavis also join the aforementioned celebrities in reading the winning entries. Guru Gowrappan, Verizon Media’s CEO stated, “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.”

The GEANCO Foundation is donating essentials like gloves, face masks, soap, sanitizer and disinfectant to hospitals and maternity centres in Nigeria. They are also training maternity nurses and traditional birth attendants to prevent the spread of the virus in local maternity clinics. The foundation is also donating tablets preloaded with hundreds of books to children quarantined in their villages.

“We are honoured 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,” GEANCO CEO Afam Onyema added.

Listeners of the podcast can also donate to help out the cause and all talent fees for the series were donated to GEANCO for its essential work in Nigeria.

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