Oxfam and Moomin Characters Ltd are launching a campaign around short story "The Invisible Child", by Moomin creator Tove Jansson, to help women and girls around the world to fight inequality and escape poverty.
The partnership will see "The Invisible Child" published as a standalone title for the first time by independent publisher Sort Of Books and made available to buy from Waterstones, the Moomin Shop Covent Garden and Oxfam shops. At least £4 from each sale will be donated to Oxfam’s women’s projects worldwide.
James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, called it "an inspiring story" and "an exceptionally beautiful edition, all at a modest price for the benefit of Oxfam's important work".
"The Invisible Child" is about a little girl who turns invisible after being badly treated by the woman supposedly caring for her. She is given a place to stay at the Moominhouse and, when shown warmth, kindness and respect by the Moomin family, she gradually reappears and regains her place in the world. The story, which was originally published by Puffin in the collection Tales from Moominvalley, will also be available to buy from Waterstones.com and the Oxfam Online Shop.
A range of other Moomin products using artwork from "The Invisible Child" will also be sold to raise money for Oxfam, including a tote bag, tea towel and handkerchief. Macmillan Children’s Books will donate £1 from sales of its Pocket Moomin Colouring Book and Finnish brands Fiskars and Finlayson will contribute a proportion of sales of their Moomin products too.
Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove Jansson and creative director of Moomin Characters, said she was sure the author would be pleased to see her work used to help women find their voices, after visiting Rwanda with Oxfam earlier this month to see first-hand the impact of the charity’s work.
“Tove was a strong and independent woman who lived life the way she wanted to – unlimited by ideas about how a woman should behave or what her role should be – which isn't too surprising considering where she grew up. Finland has always been a leader in women's rights, and was the first European country to give women the vote in 1906," commented Sophie Jansson. "However, not everyone is this fortunate, and I'm sure that Tove would be very glad that her stories are going to help women all across the world escape poverty and find their voices.”
According to Oxfam, the majority of people living in poverty are women, with long-held prejudices often meaning they are denied basic rights like education, a fair wage or decent working conditions. Women's rights are therefore at the heart of it work.
Oxfam's director of Women's Rights & Gender Justice, Nikki van der Gaag, said: "The values woven into Tove Jansson's wonderful stories - justice, compassion, kindness - perfectly echo what Oxfam represents and fights for every day. From empowering business ventures like beekeeping and fruit-growing, to rebuilding lives and homes after disaster strikes, we support amazing women all around the world. We believe that every woman and every girl deserves the right to be visible and have their voice heard, so we're very proud to partner with Moomin Characters to launch this inspiring Moomins' tale."