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Raise your voice with UNICEF and Imagine a better world for children

Print version
20 November 2014
Press release
1 1 Photos

UNICEF invites young Russian singer Kristian Kostov to join Hugh Jackman, Katy Perry, Yoko Ono and David Guetta to sing John Lennon’s Imagine and help raise awareness of children’s rights

GENEVA/MOSCOW, 20 November 2014 - During a musical event at the United Nations General Assembly today, UNICEF will unveil the #IMAGINE campaign as part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Russian singer Kristian Kostov is the only teenage pop star among a host of high profile supporters from all regions in the world to join the #IMAGINE concert, organized by renowned music producer and DJ David Guetta and artist Yoko Ono.

Earlier this year, 14-year-old Kostov was a finalist in The Voice Kids in Russia, a reality TV singing competition for children. He will sing several verses of John Lennon’s iconic anthem of hope and peace. Other singers include Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo, Brazilian singer-songwriter Daniela Mercury, Swedish-Iranian pop sensation Laleh, Bjőrn Ulvaeus from ABBA and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry.

“The 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child allows us to reflect how children’s lives have been transformed in a single generation. Strong partnerships with governments and civil society have ensured that we have made progress for children around the world. And for millions of children, life is better.” said UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Marie-Pierre Poirier.

“But we need to do more to reach those children who have been left behind, children who are invisible or excluded. Together, we can imagine – and create – a better world for children. The #IMAGINE campaign enables everyone to join a global movement for children, to realize the rights of every child, everywhere. Let us all make that vision a reality,” she said.

The campaign is supported by a new interactive digital experience, powered by TouchCast. The #IMAGINE application and website will allow everyone to record their own version of the song alongside their favourite stars, in what UNICEF hopes will be the biggest ever sing-along.

“John Lennon’s dream of the world living in peace is still just that: a dream,” said Yoko Ono. “UNICEF is working to make John’s dream a reality, providing children around the world with the hope they need to imagine – and the tools they need to create – a brighter future.”

The individual recordings – and those of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors and other artists –will be mixed by David Guetta into a multi-lingual, global version of Imagine. Everyone who records the song through the application or website has the chance to have their vocals and video used in the new UNICEF version of Imagine and in the accompanying interactive music video, created by TouchCast and - both of which will be released in the lead up to New Year’s Eve 2014.

Kostov was born in 2000 in Moscow to a Bulgarian father and a Kazakh mother. He started singing in public when he was nine and performed at the Eurovision song contest when he was 11. In his burgeoning career, Kostov has already garnered tens of thousands of fans all over Russia and in some parts of the Russian-speaking countries.

#IMAGINE participants can share their own recordings of Lennon’s classic song with friends and families on social media and encourage others to perform Imagine too. They can join Kostov and UNICEF National Ambassadors throughout the region to record personal messages describing what they imagine a better world for children would be like.

Participants will also have the opportunity to donate to UNICEF. Funds raised through the #IMAGINE project will support the organization's programmes providing education, nutrition, healthcare and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, protection and emergency relief for children in more than 150 countries and territories.

Notes to editors

To participate in #IMAGINE, individuals follow three easy steps:

• Download the TouchCast app for iOS via Apple's App Store or at;

• Record your version of Imagine with John Lennon and a host of celebrities simply by tapping the red record button;

• Record personal messages describing what they imagine a better world for children would be like;

• Share your recordings with friends with the hashtags #EVERYVOICECOUNTS and #IMAGINE.

About TouchCast

TouchCast is a New York-based video technology platform that brings the interactivity of the web into video. TouchCast is a fully featured creator’s workbench - with virtual sets, green screen, teleprompter, telestration, visual and sound effects and built-in titles and graphics - that democratizes video production and envelopes the viewer in an immersive, engaging experience. Prolific inventor and entrepreneur Edo Segal founded TouchCast in June of 2013.

Learn more at

About connects artists and brands through creative, content and code. #IMAGINE – led by director/producer Michael Jurkovac, social director/stategist Paul Kuhn, producers Bill Boyd, Pantera Sarah, Polo Molina, and Venus Brown – is the latest in a long line of artists collaborations including YES, WE CAN (, #THEWORLDNEEDSMORE (David Guetta), ELV1S 30 #1 HITS (RCA), WORLD of BETTERS (Alicia Keys, K'Naan, Sunihdi Chuhan, John Legend and Pitbull), #URBANJUNGLEWORKOUT (Adriana Lima) and others that have helped raise awareness and funds for worthwhile causes. Learn more at

About bMuse

bMuse builds companies and products that reshape the way people create and consume media. Our products span from new forms of video and mobile gaming to physical toys and digital publishing. We’ve built an entire digital studio system that scales product ideas into viable standalone businesses in a replicable manner. Simply put, we use technology to reimagine media.

Learn more at


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For more information, please contact

Kristen Elsby, UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Communication Chief
Mobile: +41 79 938 8273, Email:

Lely Djuhari, UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Communication Specialist
Mobile: +41 79 204 4482, Email:

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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