Injecting optimism and inspiration

"I know ME as an adult, would have helped ME as a kid, to believe in myself sooner, dream bigger and reach for more quicker. I believe I can do this for thousands of sick, needy and very average kids. Help the Little Optimist and I to inspire them!" Greg Bertish

Little people can do HUGE things!

Optimist (noun): definition = An optimist is a person who engages in positive thinking, or “looking on the bright side” of things. Optimism is the outlook that good things will happen, even if the situation may not appear totally positive at the moment.

An Optimist Dinghy: definition = The Optimist is a small (8 foot by 3.5 foot), single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15. The Optimist (Opi) is known as a small Childs sailing dinghy, a bit of toy rather than a yacht. 

The Little Optimist was created to be a character, a metaphor and vehicle to connect with kids, to promote positive thinking and belief, and to create a passion and purpose to overcome obstacles in life. Through his humanitarian work with children,  Greg saw that many marginalized and compromised  kids (and everyday people) in South Africa,  had very little to live for. They had a lack of hope, passion and desire to  follow their dreams.  As a child, he too lacked confidence, had bad acne, was a poor student and was bullied. He later endured 200 days in hospital and underwent 2 open heart surgeries due to an undiagnosed Tropical Bacteria that attacked his heart valves.  Using his life-changing experiences and adventures, Greg created the story of The Little Optimist, a tiny boat with a huge heart. A little character that inspires kids to overcome their circumstances, to do good, to be optimistic and to never ever give up.

To boldly go where no Optimist has gone before!


Optimism is a potent health tonic and through our children’s books we inspire kids to be optimistic and do more good.


For Each book you buy, WE donate a book to a marginalised child.


Greg was a bullied child, who did not think he would amount to much.  He had bad acne, was insecure and did not excel at school. Due to key mentors and moments in his life, he was able to overcome his insecurities and fears and has become a leader, role model and an inspiration to many. After a rare tropical bacteria  attacked his heart valves, he underwent multiple surgeries and 200 days in hospital. Greg survived & thrives. The power of positive thought and the strength of the human spirit have helped him piece back his life and his lifestyle, and he now inspires many through his unique Optimist talks, books, movies  and programs.

Sailing Therapy

As a bullied and insecure child, Greg found relief and self healing through sailing his little optimist dinghy. Through the Trust Greg has designed and helps run Sailing Therapy Programs. These Sailing Therapy experiences and programs play a key role in helping kids who are compromised either health or socio-economically wise, to overcome their physical and mental hardships.


Optimism is a potent health tonic. The documentary Optimist , has shown at film festivals around the world, and has  inspire thousands of people to be optimistic and follow their dreams. Each time the movie is downloaded , a marginalised kid in Africa receives a donated Little Optimist book in their home language.


Greg Bertish, joint winner of the 2019 METS DAME awards in Amsterdam. Awarded in recognition of charity work carried out by The Little Optimist Trust in South Africa.


Optimism is a potent health tonic and through our programs, talks, books and documentary we inspire kids to be optimistic despite their present situation.

What people say

You have such an amazing ability to reach out to and inspire all ages.
Elaine Aquadro NSRI
Thank you for your very inspiring talk and presentation, I left choked up by your journey and how you have handled it head on. Thank you for prioritizing what you’ve learnt and sharing your lessons
SACS High School parent
Your talk certainly inspired and touched me in a huge way. The feedback has been phenomenal! Your presentation was brilliant.

The Little Optimist

Scroll to Top