SEATTLE — American alternative country and folk rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her 2007 album, The Story, by featuring notable artists such as Adele, Dolly Parton and Jim James in her new album, Cover Stories. Set to release May 5, 2017, Carlile’s new album even surprises listeners by including a foreword from former President Barack Obama. All proceeds will be donated to War Child U.K., an organization that advocates for children affected by the refugee crisis.
The refugee crisis has created a dire situation for the estimated 8.4 million children who are in need of aid. World Vision found that half of refugees are children and they face exploitation as human shields, child soldiers, forced beggars and sex slaves. These children have lost family members and witnessed unspeakable brutality and violence. Millions have been forced to forgo their education. After becoming a mother, Carlile, empathetic and determined, decided to engage with children whose lives have been torn apart by war.
In 2008, Carlile, along with Tim and Phil Hanseroth, created the Looking Out Foundation. The organization’s purpose is to band together with fans, nonprofits and corporations to translate voices of music into action. One dollar from every concert ticket sold directly supports the causes the organization is fighting for. Since 2016, the Looking Out Foundation has partnered with War Child U.K. to share stories told by children who are affected by the war.
War Child U.K.’s mission is to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children caught up in war. The organization provides informal education to 6,000 displaced children fleeing ISIS-controlled areas in and around Mosul. It also supports Syrian refugee children and families to develop literacy, numeracy and life skills in Jordan. War Child U.K. also facilitates the reunification of rescued child soldiers with their families and provides psychosocial support for victims. After 2013, the organization’s pilot program KATI was scaled up to support employment and entrepreneurship initiatives for young people in northern Uganda. In 2015, it helped launch 57 innovative business ideas while creating an expansive network of young Ugandan entrepreneurs.
Before the release of Carlile’s new album, the grammy-nominated artist had been using her platform to share the children’s stories with the rest of the world. The Looking Out Foundation’s featured story focuses on Nour, a six-year-old girl who has lived through a war and has been kidnapped with her family twice. Her mother, Rana, witnessed how the experiences psychologically traumatized Nour and made her lose her personality. Then, Rana explained how Nour started smiling and laughing again after three sessions with War Child U.K. In 2015, 40,000 children attended these sessions, or what the organization calls “child-friendly spaces.”
With talented and award-winning artists covering songs from her 2007 album, Carlile’s new album will contribute 100 percent of proceeds to War Child U.K. while giving fans a listening experience of a lifetime. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes now.
– Andy Jung