UNICEF has launched a new campaign, #IMAGINE, to draw attention to the challenges children face around the world and help raise money for the organization. Yoko Ono, Hugh Jackman and ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus presented it to the UN General Assembly at the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20th.
The campaign launch included a video of John Lennon's "Imagine" that featured cameos by more than 100 people, including musicians, actors, celebrities, sports figures, dignitaries and children's choirs. Among them were Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Courteney Cox and Lance Bass singing the song alongside clips of Lennon performing it.
Part of the project is a digital app, made by TouchCast, that enables users to record their own versions of the song. Some of these performances will be combined with versions from other artists and UNICEF ambassadors into a multi-lingual "world" mix produced by David Guetta. TouchCast for iOS is available for download at the #IMAGINE website or via the Apple App Store.
In addition to singing, participants are encouraged to record personal messages describing their vision of a better world for children. All submitted vocals and videos will also have a chance to make the cut for an accompanying interactive music video, which will come out – with the song – in the weeks leading up to New Year's. Users can share their recordings on social media using the hashtags #EVERYVOICECOUNTS and #IMAGINE.
Participants can also donate to UNICEF, with all funds benefitting the organization's programs that provide education, nutrition, healthcare and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, protection and emergency relief for children in more than 150 countries and territories.
"I'm really excited to be working with UNICEF on this incredible new project," Guetta said in a statement. "Our 'world' version of 'Imagine' will be like no other – I am proud to be a part of this collaboration. We have to get the word out that every voice counts and every child counts, too."
"A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality," Ono said in a statement.