Yahoo, part of Verizon Media, and The GEANCO Foundation today announced 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 18th, 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. 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,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO at Verizon Media. “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.”

GEANCO 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.

“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 David 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.”

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

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
Dragons Like Shiny Things August 3 Lonnie Chavis

The podcast will be available globally on Apple PodcastsSpotify and all other podcasters, and distributed by Acast.

The story writing competition for “STOR14S” derives from a wider commitment from Verizon Media’s focus on mental health and wellness. Last month, Verizon Media announced a $10 million donation in advertising inventory to support mental and public health response efforts to address the novel coronavirus (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 will also provide campaign support including creative services and management. Additionally, Verizon Media 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.

About Verizon Media

Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.

About the GEANCO Foundation

GEANCO saves and transforms lives in Africa.  It organizes surgical missions and advances maternal and infant health in Nigeria. GEANCO also donates essential resources to schools, and its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls provides comprehensive academic and mental health support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria. In March 2020, GEANCO launched emergency medical and educational initiatives to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. (PR)

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