Lend the children an ear

by Eric Prideaux

LONDON — Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman and other Hollywood celebrities have joined a global campaign to raise $1 billion over 10 years in support of disadvantaged children around the world.

Organizers of the Listen Campaign, launched Thursday by London-based media event producer Tribute Third Millennium Ltd., hope televised fundraising broadcasts in 60 countries will generate $100 million in the first year.

The Listen Campaign will allow children to describe daily hardships in footage shot in such places as Egypt, India, Peru, Uganda and the U.S. “You listen to the children telling their own story, in their own words,” said Tribute Chief Executive Officer Tony Hollingsworth. “It’s not what television has done.”

Hollingsworth said the Listen Campaign will strive for transparency. “It’s going much further than old-style accountability. We’re going to report back to you five times in two years telling you not just where we spent the money but what effect you had.”

According to Tribute, at least 90 percent of contributions will reach 200 children’s projects in the field, with the remainder of funds going only to administrative fees.

For further information, please visit www.listencampaign.com