A handful of celebrity actors have donated their skills for the creation of a children’s education project, GivingTales, which features Hans Christian Andersen stories, and aims to benefit UNICEF U.K.
Sir Roger Moore, a twenty-year UNICEF ambassador, heads the venture that animated several of Andersen’s tales. Moore implored the help of Ewan McGregor, Stephen Fry, Joan Collins and more, to perform voice-over work to narrate the stories.
Fry is also a UNICEF ambassador, and he posted on Twitter about his involvement with the app. “Fairy tales for [UNICEF]—read by [Ewan McGregor], Joan Collins, [Sir Roger Moore] and me,” Fry said, adding the link to download the app to end of his tweet.
In addition, Collins said she was excited to participate in the cause. “When [the creators of GivingTales] told me about the UNICEF project in which I was going to read a fairy tale to help the children, I thought it would be wonderful,” Collins said.
UNICEF is very keen on keeping up with children in the digital age. According to the UNICEF publication, “Children’s Rights in the Digital Age,” there is an ever-growing presence of children using digital devices in third world areas. “Some two-thirds of the world’s almost three billion internet users are from the developing world, with the numbers growing every day. Many of these new users are children and young people,” the UNICEF publication said.
However, UNICEF also mentioned that with this spurt of internet usage comes introduction to violence, the ability to view unsuitable content and the possibility of internet addiction.
Klaus Lovgreen, the Chairman of GivingTales, said that he wanted to create digital learning material that involved fairy tales that teach positive and valuable lessons. “[Fairy stories] have proven their worth over many years and are sort of mandatory in nature for children,” Lovgreen said.
UNICEF said that a safe online presence for children can be formed by creating easily-accessible content that promotes digital literacy, internet safety education and cyber savviness. The organization, with several other foundations, co-hosted the very first Digitally Connected seminar on children, youth and digital media. Philip Chan, a UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador, said that the technology empowers children because they may not need an adult to supervise them.
The app allows for interactive learning that goads the reader into participating in the story. According to the GivingTales website, the app offers multiple sounds, music, and narrators, granting children the power to customize their experience. According to Lovegreen, underprivileged children will benefit from the GivingTales app that offers “education from these incredible tales and the learnings that come with them by donating 30 percent of the revenue to UNICEF U.K.”
The voice-overs for UNICEF are available on the App Store, the Google Play store, and the Windows Phone store. GivingTales is free on each app store, and it comes with “The Princess and the Pea.” Each additional story is available for four dollars, so that the app can give a portion of their revenue to UNICEF.
– Fallon Lineberger