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As 1,000 books make a 10,000-mile journey across the world, the founder of a children’s literacy project has announced ambitious plans to partner the UK’s schools with South Africa to give children the gift of reading.
Alison Delaney, who founded Little Bird People Development, has put her coaching skills to a new test by creating ‘Dreams Workshops’ which aim to build confidence, self-belief and resilience in young people.
In a project called ‘The World Is In Our Hands’ schools in the UK can purchase these workshops and receive their own signed copy of Alison’s book, which is one of the resources provided. For every Dreams Workshop purchased, Alison donates another workshop to a school in another country.
Corporate organisations can also donate a Dreams Workshop as part of their Corporate Responsibility Programmes. Alison believes we all need to come together to support the development of our future leaders.
During these workshops, children explore the adventures of the book’s main character, Little Chick. They learn about the importance of self-belief and holding onto their dreams.
The Head Teacher at Chantlers Primary School in Bury, Phillip Barlow, purchased Dreams Workshops for over 250 children in his school and has now become an Ambassador for the project. Yorkswood Primary School in Solihull, West Midlands also received Dreams Workshops for 474 children, which were funded by Birmingham Airport, the first sponsors of ‘The World Is In Our Hands’. Speaking about the project, Alison said:
“It has been fantastic bringing this project to life by delivering workshops in schools across the UK. Giving children a positive start in life is extremely important; they’re the innocents of our world and I believe it’s our duty to show them that anything’s possible. The character ‘Little Chick’ was born out of my challenges in childhood and the need for someone to relate to. In my profession, as an Executive Coach and Mentor, I have the opportunity to help adults combat their limiting beliefs often picked up in childhood. My hope is that ‘The World Is In Our Hands’ will help children look back as adults and say “I believed and I did.”
“Alongside the presentation of the books at Chantlers and Yorkswood, we also had a presentation by Sehaam Bateman, founder of Ladder 2 Success in South Africa, who we are working with to partner these two schools with schools in South Africa. Each child wrote a positive message of hope to a new friend over in South Africa who will receive their books next week,” Alison continued.
As a result of the 1,000 books received by UK schools, 1,000 books are now on their way to South Africa and will be joined by Alison and her team next Monday 24 October, to be taken to three schools; Mitchell’s Plain and Nooitgedacht Primary School in Cape Town, and Rufane Donkin Primary School in Port Elizabeth.
Having seen the benefit of the project to young people both here and overseas, Turkish Airlines has also joined the project, donating return flights to Little Bird from Birmingham Airport to Johannesburg.
Selim Ozturk, General Manager, Birmingham, Turkish Airlines added “The Dream Workshops project is a brilliant initiative and we are honoured to transport the team out to South Africa to carry out their important work. Providing support, encouragement and opportunities for the next generation is critical. As an airline, we endeavor to connect people from around the world and we are delighted to do so for such a valuable cause.”
Chantlers Primary School’s Head Teacher Phillip Barlow and BAFTA award-winning director Mandy Temple, who is documenting the project, will join Alison in South Africa to visit three schools and meet the Minister in South Africa to discuss future partnerships.
“This is just the start for the project; I am delighted to be changing the lives of 1,000 children both here and in South Africa but I want to change the lives of so many more. This visit will set the tone not just for future school partnerships in South Africa but all over the world,” Alison concluded.
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