Yesterday, the day before the Oscars, I attended the Montblanc Charity Brunch at the iconic Bel-Air HotelDuring the event the German house’s “Signature For Good” 2013 collection was presented which aims to raise at least $1.5 million dollars to support UNICEF education programmes worldwide.

Hilary_Swank_Sandra_bauknechtHilary Swank with me yesterday

Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank was the star guest among many celebrities who arrived on the red carpet. To support this good cause, the brunette actress joined the project and travelled to Ethiopia. Here are some impressions she shared during yesterday’s interview.


What can you share about Montblanc and UNICEFʼs partnership?

What struck me about Montblancʼs relationship with UNICEF was this shared belief in the importance of quality education for all children, regardless of their situation and location. Seeing in person how Montblanc is so committed to this issue in Ethiopia and how UNICEFʼs programmes are making a difference was also very touching to me, knowing that this commitment is not short term. They have been working closely with the organization for nearly a decade and committed to do doing so in the long-term because when it comes to this kind of work, it is the only way you can really make an impact and end the cycle of poverty.


What will your most enduring memory from this visit be?

I will always remember the enthusiasm and warmth of the children but also the determination and dedication of the UNICEF staff on the ground. One special memory is the children who were part of the Gender Club, an educational group that promotes 4 gender equality for boys and girls, showing them what to do if they have been abused, violated in any way and what their rights are. It empowers these kids to figure out how to get to school, find the closest water well. Itʼs all about putting their minds together to find solutions to their every day challenges. It is inspiring to me, to see young people helping out with these programmes, striving to only to improve their own situation, but helping others around them enjoy better lives. These kids were so special to me, and I will carry their spirits and their smiles in my heart forever.


Writing by hand seems to be less and less common in the developed world, do you every worry about it?

Our society relies far too much on emails, text messages and other forms of digital communication, yet the written word can be so much more meaningful. Because handwriting is unique and personal to each and every one of us, it adds a special touch to the messages we share. Montblanc does a wonderful job at reminding us what a unique experience writing by hand can be, particularly if you have the right instrument to shape your thoughts and emotions with. Call me old-fashioned, but I love to receive a handwritten note from a friend or loved one.

MDL_MONTBLANCETHIOPIA183CEO Montblanc International, Lutz Bethge, during the field trip in Ethiopia

The 2013 Montblanc “Signature For Good” collection includes special edition writing instruments, jewlery pieces and leather accessories.

All feature a unique brick design that symbolizes the joint effort of building a better future for all children and their communities, through the creation of proper education programmes and the constructions of schools – brick by brick. Parts of the proceeds raised from the sale will be donated to UNICEF to build and maintain schools for underprivileged children within its Schools for Africa, Asia and Latin America programmes.


Montblanc “Signature For Good” Bracelets

Montblanc_Signature_for_good_Writing_familyMontblanc “Signature For Good” Writing Instruments


Montblanc “Signature For Good” Leather Family
The collection will be in stores in March 2013.

To ensure all children have access to a proper education to learn how to read and to write is such a great cause worth supporting. Since 2004, Montblanc has raised over $5 million dollars for UNICEFʼs education programmes worldwide. Thumbs up!

Stay tuned for a detailed post from the event!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Montblanc and © Sandra Bauknecht