25/06/2013 11:11 BST | Updated 23/08/2013 06:12 BST

A Gift to Last a Lifetime

Ana's Thought: "Make each day a Great Appointment with Destiny."

Of all the offerings man can give, there is none greater than the gift of joy. In my art and in my actions, I aspire to create positivity and send it throughout the world, where it may find its way to hearts in need. It is for this reason that I am so proud to announce my latest outreach operation, Ana's Children.


Young students admire Ana Tzarev's art at her Children's Workshop in Santralistanbul.

Ana's Children was developed to support those who dedicate themselves to bettering the world for our youths, particularly girls. The program's first action is to offer a $1 million grant to Pratham, whose exceptional work in providing and protecting education in India is unparalleled. Through this donation, 10,000 young girls will be afforded the chance to grow strong and blossom into their greatest potential through guaranteed access to higher learning.

The cause of providing a safe path to education for girls in need is one that resonates with me deeply, as that same struggle is present in my own life story. It shaped me in powerful ways. Growing up in a land fractured by war and touched by oppression, I was told that seeking schooling was a waste because I was a girl. When all seemed shrouded in a dark veil and opposition rose before me, I held fast to hope and trusted in my own worth, working as hard as I could to achieve my dreams.

Within the spirit of every child lives a bright spark - the glimmer of promise hinting at potential we could hardly begin to imagine. If nurtured by tender hands and sheltered from life's harsh winds, this spark will ignite their hearts with the flames of passion. Only then can they become instruments of true greatness.

When we find goodness at work in this vast and complex world, we must not bottle it up and hide it away - it is a treasure of far greater value when it is shared. For those of us who have been graced with the good fortune to chase after our desires, it is so important that we return that same goodness to the world. Through Ana's Children, I share my life's blessings with those who are longing for their moment to shine. By supporting girls and women worldwide, I know the brightness in their hearts will blaze on as beacons of hope, illuminating a brilliant future for all people.