Saturday, 17 November 2007
mont blanc's "the power to write" campaign
I was recently asked to partner with Mont Blanc in their campaign to help fight illiteracy, by putting my signature on a limited edition pen that would be sold for charity. There are 2 Malaysians given this honor, Tun Mahathir and myself. I have been asked to pen an essay on the campaign and what it means for me to be involved, so i edited parts of my speech on that day and stringed it together in an essay, and thought i might share it in my blog for the record.
I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.
~ Anonymous ~
When I was approached by Montblanc to partner in their “Power to Write” Campaign, I found it to be a tremendous opportunity to support this noble effort to reduce global illiteracy, through UNICEF. Not only is it an opportunity to contribute, we are also given a chance to reflect and appreciate our ability to read and write, which I find is a gift many of us take for granted.
The battle against illiteracy is long, and the amount of work is overwhelming. My heart goes out to the 115 million children of the world who may never share the joy of reading and writing, unless we who have such privilege, can make that difference and give them new hope. I believe that with many baby steps, it only marks the beginning of that jouney of a thousand miles; and along that journey we could touch and change the lives of so many in a way that cannot be imagined.
Why literacy? Being passionate for the arts from an early age, it was natural for me to come behind this campaign against illiteracy. As an actress and a producer, the culture of reading and writing was the very foundation of my career and progress. I have always enjoyed the emotional and visual journey that is conjured by the written word, be it poetry, prose, song or in the many scripts I read each day. My mastering of the written and spoken word, coupled with a creative eye and some knowledge of numbers and the art of marketing, is an integral tool in my work as a creative producer. I am one to believe that the pen is surely mightier than the sword.
Although my co-operation with Montblanc has gone a long way back, this campaign is a fresh new experience for me, certainly one close to my heart. The opportunity to work with UNICEF to help provide the gift of literacy to underprivileged children can empower children to read, write and therefore to think. Through education, those who are not fortunate enough can now gain access to this very basic necessity. The gift of literacy means a chance to touch lives, and change destinies; destinies of individuals, of families, and of nations.
Indeed, this campaign reaffirmed to me Montblanc’s loyalty to the culture of writing and reading, and struck a very strong chord with me. We know that literacy and education is the most effective equalizer today for the under-privileged. Hopefully, together with Montblanc, we will be able to make a difference in achieving this.
My final message today for all readers is to pause to think about how reading and writing has revolutionalized our lives – it is really like losing a limb to live without this skill. Indeed, I would like to invite you all to join Montblanc and UNICEF, in our efforts to provide basic education for our children today, in order to nurture the readers, writers and thinkers of tomorrow.
When I look back, I am so impressed again
with the life-giving power of literature.
If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of
myself in the world, I would do that again by reading,
just as I did when I was young.
~ Maya Angelou ~
By Tiara Jacquelina.
Tiara Jacquelina’s signature will be engraved on the Montblanc Meisterstück Fountain Pen 149 and for every one of these pens sold during the period until 31 December 2007, Montblanc will donate USD 149 to UNICEF. For further enquiries, kindly contact Ms Cesarine Lim at the Mont Blanc KLCC store, 0321662886