Yahoo and The GEANCO Foundation present global podcast series “STOR14S”

Renowned cast including Russell Brand, Rachel Brosnahan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, David Oyelowo, Zoe Saldana and more lead the 14-part children’s short stories series aimed to inspire families and raise COVID-19 relief aid for Africa

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NEW YORK, NY - June 16, 2020 - 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

Name to be announced

Dragons Like Shiny Things

August 3

Lonnie Chavis

The podcast will be available globally on Apple Podcasts, Spotify 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.

“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."

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