It’s called HIDDEN HEROES and will launch Oct 12 on global podcast network Acast. The project is a joint distribution effort of Acast and UNICEF. UNICEF is the world’s largest children’s organization, working in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children.
The podcast is produced by host Beth Murphy and her company Principle Pictures. The production is supported by UNICEF and the Gates Foundation.
Showcasing original, on-the-ground reporting across four continents, the podcast tells the stories of the women and girls who are innovating, organizing, and saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Featured stories covered in this show include:
In Afghanistan, an all-girls robotics team, the Afghan Dreamers, builds low-cost ventilators out of used car parts while in lockdown.
In Uganda and Congo, former child-bride Faridah confronts parents forcing their daughters into marriage.
In Ecuador, a team of women hackers address the rise in domestic violence during the pandemic by reaching vulnerable women through secret messages in a cookbook – The Neighbor’s Cookbook.
And in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Gladys Vega launches grassroots efforts to feed her neighbors during the pandemic.
“Every story featured is profoundly life-affirming and timely,” said Murphy, “My hope is that this show can be a resource for finding solutions to gender injustice, and for moving audiences from inspiration to action to fight it.” For each of the four documentary style narrative episodes, there is a sister episode that takes a deeper dive into each story, engaging experts on issues from COVID’s deadly racial inequalities to gender-based violence during the pandemic.
“This kind of storytelling–which lifts up the voices of women and girls, and values expertise that comes from both public service and lived experience–is a vital part of UNICEF’s mission of building a better world for children,” said Omar Robles, Gender Programme Specialist at UNICEF. He notes that the collaboration with Acast will help HIDDEN HEROES to reach the widest possible audience.
“Podcasting is at its best when it breaks down barriers and allows us to share compelling stories with one another,” said Lizzy Pollott, VP Marketing Communications and Brand for Acast. “Through HIDDEN HEROES, UNICEF is giving a platform to the women and girls who are building our future. As Acast champions the open podcasting ecosystem — meaning anyone can access the show wherever they choose to listen — it’s a privilege to get to bring their stories to listeners all around the world.”