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Silent Night?

08/12/2009

On the 9th December celebrities descended onto Trafalgar Square for Plan UK’s first ever pop-up charity carol concert - in aid of Plan UK's campaign 'Girls Without Voices'.

Celebrities sing at Plan UK's pop-up carol concert - with the women gagged. Photo: Matt WrittleVisitors to Trafalgar Square at 5pm saw legendary soul singer Kym Mazelle lead a host of celebrities including Camilla Dallerup (star of Strictly Come Dancing), Jasmine Harman (A Place in the Sun), Zoe Tyler (vocal coach to the stars), Syed Ahmed (star of the Apprentice), Amy Studt (singer) and Lucie Cave (Executive editor Heat magazine), participate in a carol concert  for Plan UK. But this was a carol concert with a difference! 

As part of Plan UK’s campaign Girls Without Voices, highlighting the lack of education opportunities for girls in the developing world, celebrities formed a choir of both men and women. However, only the men were allowed to sing and the girls were prevented from singing - with gags across their mouths.

The sound of all male voices ringing out across Trafalgar Square symbolised the loss of opportunities for girls in some of the world’s poorest countries, where there are currently 43 million out of education.

The harsh reality of a girl’s life in these countries is that they are pulled out of primary school and pushed into domestic work, child labour, forced marriage and the sex trade putting them at risk of exploitation and sexually transmitted infections. Plan UK is calling for more people to sponsor a girl to help put a stop to child discrimination.

Celebrity support

Later in the evening the women joined the men. Photo: Matt Writtle.Celebrities including Kym Mazelle, Beverley Knight, Anne Diamond, Francine Lewis and singer Amy Studt are also lending their support to Plan UK.

Kym Mazelle commented, “It’s easy to take our education and healthcare privileges for granted when they’re readily available to us. It’s shocking that, in today’s age, such discrimination is still taking place. We just can’t ignore this any longer, we need to take action!”

Singer Beverley Knight has shown her support, “As a nation, we need to sit up and take notice of the challenges and discriminations girls face in the developing world. As a Plan UK sponsor myself, I urge people to support Plan’s fight for a girl’s right to an education, just as hard as someone once fought for ours.”

Marie Staunton, CEO at Plan UK said, “It is fantastic to see that there are so many high profile people committed to helping us raise awareness to these important issues. We want others to understand that by sponsoring a girl in the developing world you can help remove them from a life on the sidelines, a life of missed opportunities.”

By sponsoring a girl with Plan, you can help put a stop to child discrimination. You can help get girls into school, where their enormous potential won’t go to waste. You’ll help give them a voice, ensuring they aren’t condemned to a life of poverty, but have a better chance of a brighter future.

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