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Raintree sponsors writer/illustrator to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC)

Pursuing the Company commitment to local and global dialogue, Raintree followed its sponsorship of the Singapore writers and poets to Cape Town, by financing the participation of South African children’s book writer and illustrator, Marjorie van Heerden, in the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in May 2012.

Marjorie van Heerden and Mr. R Ramachandran

Marjorie van Heerden and Mr. R Ramachandran - Executive Director of the NBDCS (National Book Development Council of Singapore)

Children’s literature is a critical conduit for global understanding and Marjorie is an internationally recognised figure.

Said Marjorie: “This is an attempt to express my gratitude to Raintree Solutions for sponsoring my travel expenses to Singapore and in doing so, to make it possible for me to accept an invitation to attend the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in May 2012 as a guest speaker and a master class facilitator. Just saying “thank you” cannot make you realise how much this trip meant to me and how much value I got out of an opportunity like this – kindly allow me to give some back-ground and to try and explain what I mean:

Marjorie van Heerden and Kathleen Ahrens

Marjorie van Heerden and Kathleen Ahrens - Author and International Regional Advisor chairperson of SCBWI

I have been writing and illustrating children’s books for more than 30 years and my first children’s picture book was published in 1983. Very early in my career I realised and became fascinated with, what a powerful genre children’s books are, how a single picture book can play a role in shaping a child’s mind; how it could even contribute to that child becoming a compassionate, caring adult. Through a picture book’s words and pictures, a child can glimpse happiness, laughter, can come to terms with his or her fears, can feel understood, obtain clarity, find his or her dreams, realise that nothing has to be impossible. Through a picture book’s words and pictures a child could obtain those special ingredients s/he will need to develop an inquiring mind, logic, lateral thinking, self initiative, creativity… The child could learn to be humane, to have respect for the environment, self-respect, respect for other people and especially for people different to him or herself.”

Marjorie van Heerden and Kenneth Quek

Marjorie van Heerden and Kenneth Quek Assstent Director at the NBDC of Singapore and Festival Manager of AFCC

“I do believe I have a role to play here in my own country, and I realised that attending this Festival, and as a quest speaker not only on children’s book illustration as usual, but also on the role of children’s literature in developing societies, would be of immeasurable value to me personally and also to my children’s book colleagues back in South Africa.”




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