This December, 32 young women stood in the heart of New York’s holiday festivities and performed a new take on the holiday classic, “Silent Night.”
As people gathered for their performance in front of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, they realised that the words to the familiar song had been changed with lyrics describing the pain and fear of those trapped in conflict areas around the world, and the hope and relief that can be provided by humanitarian aid.
“This is not your typical Silent Night,” said Nyawal, 23, a South Sudanese refugee who sings in the choir. “This is a version of a holiday carol that tells the story of people like us.”
These women are no strangers to suffering themselves, as each of them is a from a conflict area – ranging from Iraq to Sudan.
The words they sang, “Lifting our voices for peace,” work to build awareness of conflict around the world and drive donation to the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), whose primary focus is to deliver rapid funding to humanitarian crises as they occur, helping food, water and other life-saving aid reach people in situations of conflict or natural disaster.
The performance, devised by creative agency VML, has been turned into a docu-style video now available on social media, with the goal of raising funds for CERF. To support this effort, please visit the UN CERF Facebook page or DonateMiracles.org.