Ambassador: Amanda Bernardo , Canada
In 2014, Amanda co-founded Little Voice Books to create a platform that would leverage the power of literature and illustration as a means to develop a meaningful experience that would create a dialogue at home and in the classroom, as well as create awareness for causes and initiatives across Canada.
After attending the One Young World 2016 Ottawa Summit, Amanda committed to using her platform to support the conversation on mental health. A year later, on World Mental Health Day, Little Voice Books published The Lighthouse on World Mental Health Day in 2017. The Lighthouse is a story that aims to educate, support, and remind all those affected by mental illness that they are not alone. The Lighthouse followed the company’s first self-titled book Little Voice, which teaches its readers about a growth mindset. Both books touch on the importance of mental health, and directly targets children, recognising that most mental health issues tend to start in childhood or adolescence. As well as raising awareness, each book sale supports fundraising efforts across Canada, including in support of the National Canadian Mental Health Association with each sale of The Lighthouse and the Alzheimer Society of Canada with each sale of Little Voice.
Today, you can find The Lighthouse in every public elementary school in Ottawa and Little Voice in every Catholic elementary school. Over 2,000 copies of the book have been sold since October 2017, reaching an estimated 110,000 children across Ottawa. The books are also available online and have found their way onto shelves across North America. Students find the books easy to read, with engaging illustrations that help keep their attention. The Little Voice Books team has received positive feedback from parents, teachers and book stores across Canada and continues to work closely with their community to leverage their platform to inspire others to make a difference. Little Voice has been translated into French and The Lighthouse is in the process of being translated as well. Little Voice Books has plans to work on a third title in 2019, with a wider goal to broaden outreach across Canada.