One thousand South African children have been given the gift of literacy, thanks to Warwickshire entrepreneur, Alison Delaney. As part of her project, Little Bird, children in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth have now had a taster of UK education and received their first book.
Alison, who specializes in corporate development, cultural change, and motivational speaking, is challenging the education system both home and abroad for a better focus on confidence encouraged by literacy.
Through her self-penned book ‘Little Chick Has Lunch On The Moon’, Alison is able to deliver ‘Dreams Workshops’, which support the book’s key messages in a programme tailored to the school environment. She has already completed 18 workshops across the UK, including Chantlers Primary School in Bury, which has adopted the book officially as part of its school syllabus. The pupils at Chantlers are among over 2,000 children who have benefitted from a Dreams Workshop in the UK.
“A recent study has found that 88 per cent of young people in Britain today say they ‘lack confidence and doubt they will succeed in life’, which in itself proves that my mission is so needed! Through my corporate work, I help adults return to the simplicity of childhood; reaching into their imagination and breaking down barriers without hesitation. I would love to be able to put myself out of a job in years to come; if we can ingrain this in young people, then we will open their minds up and create adults that are willing to believe and achieve,” Alison commented.
Following the launch of Little Bird last year, Alison was approached by BAFTA and Emmy-winning producer and director Mandy Temple, who recently joined Alison on a trip to South Africa to deliver copies of ‘Little Chick Has Lunch on the Moon’ to 1,000 children. A documentary* of the trip has been created that follows Alison’s visits to Tembisa Primary School, Johannesburg; Rufane Donkin Primary School, Port Elizabeth; Nooitgedacht Primary School, Cape Town; and Mitchells Plain Primary School, Cape Town.
“As well as helping children here in the UK, Little Chick also aims to help children who are less fortunate. For every book purchased in the UK, I gift a second to a child who needs it and the trip to South Africa was something that I am so proud to have been able to do. Thanks to the support of Birmingham Airport, who have already purchased 644 books for schools, and Turkish Airlines, we were able to deliver books and workshops in four South African schools,” she added.
‘Little Chick Has Lunch on the Moon’ will soon be joined by the next installment; ‘Little Chick Finds His First Best Friend’ and Alison hopes to engage even more schools to adopt the syllabus and focus on confidence in their pupils.
Andy Holding, Community Affairs Manager at Birmingham Airport, said: “We’re very pleased to be supporting the Little Bird school workshops as part of our CSR activity. It’s very different and I’m certain the children will enjoy all aspects of it, from understanding self-belief to reaching out to children on the other side of the world.
“The book and workshops open children’s eyes to the world of possibilities around them, helps raise aspirations and motivate them from an early age to work hard, have ambition and reach their full potential. Alison’s approach perfectly complements these ambitions and having worked with her for many years we know how inspirational and effective her methods are.
To celebrate the past years’ success and the 20th annual World Book Day, Alison held a Little Bird World Book Day at Birmingham Airport’s Learning Hub and welcomed schools from across England and Wales to enjoy a special day of learning, dreaming and reading. The impact of the days’ learnings will now help shape the second round of workshops to be held up and down the country, as well as at the next international destination to receive the gifted donations.