Alison Naftalin

Lively Minds

Big Idea: 

There’s a ton of evidence showing the lifelong impact of early childhood education, but few African families have access to any kind of preschool. Lively Minds turns moms into effective teachers by helping them set up their own community groups to deliver state-of-the-art education through simple play-based lessons. It’s a surprisingly effective and inexpensive way to provide kids with critical learning and care that can boost their success in primary school and beyond. They’re now supporting governments in Ghana and Uganda to deliver the Lively Minds solution themselves.

Alison started her career as a successful government lawyer, working for U.K Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence. Her role was to ensure that government's policies and activities served the public good. A trip to Ghana in 2007 shifted her attention to childhood welfare and led her to the idea of using play to deliver early education. She started Lively Minds in 2008 and went all in a few years later. Now she’s working with the national government of Ghana to scale the program to 4,000 communities.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows