Dubai, United Arab Emirates (PressExposure) June 10, 2009 -- Luxury goods manufacturer Montblanc, recognized worldwide for its classic timepieces, jewelry, leather goods and writing instruments has joined hands with UNICEF in a drive to eradicate illiteracy. Montblanc has pledged a sum of at least AED 5.5 million ($1.5 million) towards education to ensure that children regardless of their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or circumstances have access to quality education.
"UNICEF works diligently to facilitate the world's most underprivileged children - the excluded, the weak and the unseen - and Montblanc shares UNICEF's commitment and takes great pride in partnering in such a noble cause as education for every child. Education is a fundamental human right and every child is entitled to it," said Joe Nahhas, Regional Brand Director of Montblanc.
Mr. Nahhas added that: "Montblanc would like to play a significant role in ensuring that children have access to a rights-based, quality education that is rooted in gender equality which we hope will create a ripple effect of opportunity that impacts generations to come."
Montbanc's new social awareness campaign titled "Signature for Good" is designed to support UNICEF in its efforts to ensure a quality education as only education can enhance the quality of life of the many boys and girls around the world who suffer under the burden of illiteracy.
"UNICEF believes that education is critical for the growth, well-being and quality of life for people everywhere: said Dina Yazbak, Fundraising & Partnerships Officer UNICEF, Gulf Area. "Right now one in three children in developing countries do not complete five years of primary school and there is still a great deal that needs to be done to improve children's access to education. Thanks to Montblanc's contribution UNICEF will put a step forward to ensure education for all and children's right to literacy" she added.
With the "Signature for Good" programme, Montblanc will contribute towards giving as many children as possible better access to quality learning and thus lay the foundation for growth, transformation, innovation, opportunity and equality for all children.
Children of primary school age who are not attending school or those that have no access to education are estimated at 101 million. Out of these, 52.8 million are girls.
Worldwide, nearly 85 per cent of primary-school-age children attend school. In developing countries, this figure is 83 per cent. Primary school attendance is at 60 per cent in West and Central Africa, 69 per cent in Eastern and Southern Africa, 80 per cent in South Asia and 86 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa. The largest out-of-school population is in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 45.5 million children of primary school age are out of school. It is followed by South Asia (35 million), the Middle East and North Africa (6.7 million), East Asia and the Pacific (4.7 million) and Latin America and the Caribbean (4.2 million).
Globally, only 60 per cent of children of secondary school age attend secondary school. The others are either still enrolled in primary schools or are out of school. In sub-Saharan Africa, children of secondary school age are more likely to be in primary schools than in secondary schools. In fact, 25 per cent of them are in secondary schools, while 34 per cent are in primary schools. Gender gaps in primary school attendance have almost closed in regions such as East Asia and the Pacific (99 per cent) and Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (98.5 per cent). In Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern and Southern Africa there are more girls attending primary school than boys.
Montblanc unveiled a new range of Montblanc products including a writing instrument - The Meisterstruck "Signature for Good" edition with a sapphire stone and the UN's famous olive wreath symbol universally recognized sign for peace adorning the cap of each pen.
From September 2009, "Signature for Good" edition will include a collection of jewellery and small leather goods finished to the highest degree of detailed perfection and featuring the color blue as a reference to the charity initiative.
All "Signature for Good" edition items have one thing in common: every purchase makes a valuable and lasting contribution towards helping illiterate children all over the world to read and write. Part of the proceeds from the entire collection will be donated to support UNICEF's education programmes globally.