VIDEO: Global musicians unite for anti-orphanage campaign

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SIR Elton John has revealed Doris Day’s The Deadwood Stage is the song of his childhood – and now wants the world to share their musical memories online to save eight million children suffering silently in shocking overseas orphanages.

Ed Sheeran, Mark Ronson, Emeli Sande, Paloma Faith and Paul Weller are among a host of world renowned musicians to join Elton in making exclusive videos on YouTube where they share their most precious childhood songs and memories for the ‘End the Silence’ campaign supported by YouTube.

The biggest names in pop are urging the public to follow them down musical memory lane using endthesilence.com. The interactive music memory time capsule has been built by the UK-based charity Hope and Homes for Children. It allows people to pick their most precious childhood song, and then share it on social media with a memory.

The End the Silence campaign aims to create the world’s largest online musical memory time capsule before Christmas, while raising £1.5m in donations. This will help Hope and Homes for Children find families for 120,000 children suffering silence and neglect in Ugandan and Rwandan orphanages.

Mark Waddington, CEO of Hope and Homes for Children, explained: “When a baby in an orphanage cries and nobody comes to comfort them, they learn not to cry.

“By internalising their pain, they suffer lifelong mental and physical damage.

“Deprived of love, life, and hope, these children grow up in silence. They never hear laughter or music. These children will never experience the love and protection only a family can offer.

“The idea of a childhood of silence and neglect in an orphanage – without love, family and music – is unacceptable.

“By joining the world’s top musicians in sharing your most precious childhood musical memory, you can help us to end the silence.”

Every pound donated to the End the Silence campaign before December 27th will be doubled by the UK Government as part of its UK Aid Match scheme.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “No child should have to spend their childhood in an orphanage, deprived of the love and support only a family can bring. Through their End the Silence Campaign, Hope and Homes for Children is providing struggling individuals with the life changing support that’s needed to keep families together.

“Every donation made by the generous British public to the End the Silence appeal will be matched pound for pound by the UK Government, meaning we will double the difference Britons can make to those children in Rwanda and Uganda, who are suffering in silence.”

“We are delighted to partner with Hope and Homes for Children on the End The Silence campaign to help bring support and joy through music to those in need. As YouTube is a place where artists and fans come together to immerse themselves in memories through video and music, this is a natural partnership for a deeply meaningful cause.” – Candice Morrissey, Head of Music Content Partnerships, EMEA, YouTube

Talking about his childhood in his End the Silence film, Elton says: “There are so many records from my childhood but Doris Day’s The Deadwood Stage was so important because I was so frightened to go to the dentists. The only way I was going to do it is if my mum bought that record for me after. So I had my tooth out, we went in to the record store. I clutched it, I loved it so much, I couldn’t wait to get home and play it.

For a child to be deprived of music is one of the most wicked things I can think of.”

Mark Ronson adds: “Music is in pretty much every memory I have of childhood.

It’s really impossible for me to imagine what a world would be like without music. No child should have to endure life in an orphanage deprived of love and without music and family. That’s the essence of what I think we need to actually get by.”

Ed Sheeran says: “Music was very important to me at a young age. Anyone not having family in their life, or music in their life, or stability I think that’s a very sad thing. I hope people will join me in sharing the music from their childhood. I’d love to hear their stories. Together we can End The Silence.”

Forthcoming films in the End The Silence campaign will include Damon Albarn, Bastille’s Dan Smith, The Clash’s Paul Simonon, Rudimental’s Amir Amor, Hozier, and Anne-Marie. All films are produced by Fulwell73 (One Direction films, BBC’s Sounds Like Friday Night, Carpool Karaoke.)

Hope and Homes for Children’s End the Silence campaign will fund the first orphanage closure for children with disabilities in Rwanda, as well as support Uganda in taking the first steps to becoming orphanage-free.

Dedicated social workers will work with children confined to orphanages, tracing their families and giving them the support they need to become a family again. Where this isn’t possible, specialist foster families will be trained to give the children the love and security they need to thrive.

To ensure no child suffers silently in an orphanage, share your most precious childhood musical memory at endthesilence.com, or look out for #endthesilence and #Ukaid on Twitter.