Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has the tools to shape their lives but through a 13-year partnership with UNICEF, Montblanc has managed to raise over $10m towards a literacy programme through the sale of editioned collections, which has changed the lives of millions of children around the globe.
“While it’s every child’s human right to be able to learn to read and write, many children don’t have access to basic education,” says Koch. “Our heritage started with writing instruments so we always look to enhancing and highlighting the importance of writing. It’s the basis of modern culture. Writing in today’s world is the basis for new concept ideas and leading the way with concepts and thoughts. But for far too many it is unfortunately not the start due to poverty and all the problems that stem from it. This is our way to raise awareness of those who do not have the opportunities we have.”
Montblanc’s involvement is not just about handing over pens and paper. “Sometimes it’s more important to start with drilling for water and providing water fountains as a solution so that kids do not have to walk so far and they can attend school. Sometimes it’s about improving the learning materials, or making a bigger impact through training the teachers, or improving infrastructure,” Koch says.
In attendance at the recent launch of the 2017 Montblanc for UNICEF collection at the New York City Library were the friends of the maison, ambassadors who were clearly not just paid-for celebrity endorsements. We were in good company at dinner with the likes of Australian actress and adoption advocate Deborra-Lee Furness and actor husband Hugh Jackman who are genuinely supportive and hands-on with this worthy cause, funded through special projects since 2004.