UK’s most treasured children’s illustrators - Axel Scheffler, Emily Gravett, Guy Parker-Rees, Jackie Morris and others - launch the Happily Ever Smarter Secret Sale Media Contact: Karen Garvin, 07971 576917 High resolution images of the illustrations can be downloaded here. United World Schools (UWS), has today teamed up with some of the UK’s most loved children’s illustrators to launch the Happily Ever Smarter Secret Sale. Axel Scheffler [The Gruffalo], Debi Gliori [The Trouble with Dragons], Emma Chichester-Clark [Blue Kangaroo], Emily Gravett [Wolves], Guy Parker-Rees [Giraffes Can’t Dance] Jackie Morris [The Snow Leopard] and Burmese-born Ohn Mar Win, have all created beautiful illustrations to bring the transformative power of education to life. By adding their artwork to the Secret Sale they aim to help children living in some of the world’s most remote communities realise their dreams of going to school, as Covid-19 threatens to reverse progress on global education by a decade. The Secret Sale, which runs until midnight on 28 July, gives ticket holders a chance to win beautiful original artwork by the above illustrators. Runner-up ticket holders may win a drawing from a child at a UWS school in Nepal depicting their ‘dreams for their future’. Funds raised from the Secret Sale will help thousands of children in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised villages to access quality education, for the very first time. The illustrators contributing to the Secret Sale have used their talent to tell the big stories of some of the bright, strong and determined children UWS is working to support in Nepal in small packages, including Heena, Preeti, and Chimini (image galleries, quotes and case studies available through links). Some of these children have never been to school and others are determined to continue despite enormous obstacles. Globally, prior to the pandemic, 1 in 6 children were missing out on the chance to have an education (UNESCO) and in the remote regions of Asia where UWS works, only a third of children complete even a basic primary education. Right now, in Nepal, the new Covid-19 variant has closed schools and is threatening the lives of children and their families. UWS is providing a lifeline to remote communities by supporting health services, providing food, vital items and remote learning. Working in collaboration with radio stations across Nepal, UWS is teaching thousands of children by transmitting radio lessons and providing take-away packs during lockdown to help keep the habit of education alive. Illustration by Axel Scheffler inspired by Preeti who is the first girl in her family to ever go to school Axel Scheffler is an award winning, internationally acclaimed illustrator of some of the most well-loved children’s books such as The Gruffalo. His books have been published in many languages and he has exhibited all around the world. Axel said: “Preeti is the very first girl in her family to go to school and education is still new and fragile in her community. Covid is now threatening the chance for children in these remote villages to get even a primary education. I hope that this collection of illustrations and the Secret Sale helps bring education to thousands more children who deserve a chance to learn and to grow.” Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator, won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2019 for her illustration of The Lost Words, voted the most beautiful book of 2016 by UK booksellers. Jackie, whose illustration is entitled ‘Because education opens doors to dreams’ said: “I was inspired by Heena’s story. She’s ten, but has never been to school, lives in a remote village in Nepal. “When I was a child I felt trapped in school, spent time drawing and dreaming, looking out of the window. Heena made me wonder what it might feel like to be trapped outside of school. “Education opens up so many choices for us all. There are so many things a child might become, so I’ve tried to list a few, from being a scientist, and artist to an architect. Or perhaps a teacher in her own community. Education enriches everyone. It gives us choices, new paths to follow, empowerment.” ‘Because education opens doors to dreams’ by Jackie Morris. Inspired by the story of Heena. The Happily Ever Smarter campaign was launched on 29 April with a powerful animated film to tell the story of Kanchi, narrated by Amanda Redman. The campaign draws on the power of illustration, storytelling and animation to turn dreams into reality for thousands of children in the hardest to reach areas of Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. Tim Howarth, CEO of UWS, said: “At UWS each day, we hear and see stories unfolding of children going to school for the first time, learning to read, write, and count, and see their dreams for the future become real. It’s been terrific to see how these brilliant children’s illustrators have been inspired by their stories and brought them to life in such a magical way. Together we can make an enormous impact on the future of thousands more children through life-changing education.” The UK government is doubling all donations to UWS until 29 July, as part of its Aid Match campaign. This means that each ticket for the Secret Sale will support the training of one local person to become a community teacher in some of the most remote areas of Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. This provides new job opportunities within the community and ensures that education is sustainable, adaptive for the local languages spoken, and relevant to the community culture. Buy your ticket now for the Secret Sale Ends Notes to Editors: For more information, spokespeople, imagery and data on global education please contact: Karen Garvin [email protected] 07971 576917 Images High resolution images of the illustrations can be downloaded here Chimini - selection of images and first person story Heena and Soneeya - selection of images and first person story Preeti - selection of images and first person story Photo credit for Chimini, Heena, Soneeya and Preeti images: Navesh Chitrakar/UWS. *All girls' names have been changed to protect their identity. The Happily Ever Smarter Secret Sale, runs from 7 July and ends midnight on 28 July, gives all ticket holders a chance to win a beautiful original artwork by one of the above renowned illustrators or a drawing from a child at a UWS school in Nepal depicting their ‘dreams for their future’. All original artworks by the illustrators are approximately A5 size. Funds raised from the Secret Sale will help thousands of children in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised villages to access quality education, for the very first time. The campaign #HappilyEverSmarter runs from 29 April to 29 July 2021. All donations will help children from very remote communities access education in Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. It will also provide healthcare support, food, vital necessities and remote learning during the pandemic across all UWS’ education programmes. UK Aid Match campaign - From 29 April to 29 July 2021 for every £1 you give to United World Schools the UK government will match your donation by giving another £1. All donations will help children from very remote communities access education across Asia. UK government funding will go to UWS’ programmes in Nepal to help over 8,000 out-of-school children in some of the most remote regions go to primary school for the very first time. Donations from the British public will be spent across all UWS’ education programmes in Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. United World Schools (UWS) builds schools in some of the most remote, impoverished villages in the world and champions inclusive, innovative and sustainable education, including remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2008, UWS has built 250 schools and trained 1,000 local and government teachers and reached 43,000 children in Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia with life-changing education. UWS is a 2019 WISE Award Winner for educational innovation, and a 2020 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize winner for ethnic minority literacy programmes.