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Ed Sheeran, Elton John, and Paloma Faith Are Revealing Their Favourite Childhood Songs for This Great Reason

Ever wondered what songs A-listers like Elton John and Ed Sheeran listened to as children?

Well, now you can find out, as the celebrities are sharing their favourite childhood songs online. 

But this isn’t just a nostalgia trip. 

They’re speaking out in support of a new campaign that hopes to end the silent suffering of tens of thousands of children in Ugandan and Rwandan orphanages. 

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The End the Silence campaign, launched by Hope and Homes for Children, hopes to raise over £1.5 million to help find families for 120,000 children.

“When a baby in an orphanage cries and nobody comes to comfort them, they learn not to cry,” said Mark Waddington, CEO of Hope and Homes for Children, in a statement. “By internalising their pain, they suffer lifelong mental and physical damage. Deprived of love, life, and hope, these children grow up in silence. They never hear laughter or music.” 

“These children will never experience the love and protection only a family can offer,” he continued. “The idea of a childhood of silence and neglect in an orphanage — without love, family, and music — is unacceptable.” 

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There are an estimated 8 million children living in orphanages around the world — some 80% of whom have living parents but were abandoned because of poverty, disabilities, or discrimination, according to Hope and Homes for Children. 

As many as 37 children out of every 100 living in orphanages may suffer violence or sexual abuse. 

One of these children is Cary, now 15, who has been living in a remote orphanage for children with disabilities in Rwanda for eight years. 

“No one cares for me here,” Cary, who recently went on hunger strike because she was so desperate to leave the orphanage, told Hope and Homes for Children. “I want to be at home and be part of a family. I don’t want to live in silence anymore.” 

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The campaign has garnered support from a whole host of celebrities, including Mark Ronson, Paul Weller, Paloma Faith, Emeli Sande, Damon Albarn, Bastille’s Dan Smith, The Clash’s Paul Simonon, and Hozier, to name just a few. 

“Songs and memories go together very well,” says Ed Sheeran in his video, naming Van Morrison and the Chieftains’ “Carrickfergus” as a particular favourite. “You can kind of pinpoint a certain time you heard a song based on a memory.” 

In his video, Elton John describes how he could only be persuaded to have a tooth removed at the dentist if his mother agreed to buy him Doris Day’s “The Deadwood Stage”.

The celebrities are sharing their memories on YouTube, and on the campaign website, in the hope of creating the world’s largest “online musical memory time capsule”.

Every pound donated to the campaign before December 27 will also be doubled by the UK government as part of its UK Aid Match scheme. 

Global Citizen campaigns to support children who are suffering around the world. Take action with us here, to ensure that every child everywhere gets the best possible start in life.