Dream A Dream

Dream A Dream is a registered charitable trust which seeks to empower children from vulnerable backgrounds by developing life skills and at the same time sensitising the community through active volunteering leading to a non-discriminatory society where unique differences are appreciated.
May 31, 2013

Powerful beginnings!!

Picture from the Camp
Picture from the Camp

Dear Co-Dreamers!!

As we continue our journey on creating a vibrant, positive, and healthy future for our young people; we are all set and geared up to start our regular sessions in mid-June.

With this update we would want to share with you story of Alisha (name changed), who was part of Dream Life Skills Program,

Meet Alisha, a 15-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Sports and now she attends Life skills through Creative Arts Programme.  Her father is a plumber and her mother is a home maker. Her two elder brothers Suraj and Adit are doing their studies.

The challenge: Alisha was not at all confident about attending the initial days of the Creative Arts sessions. She used to be very nervous when asked a question, had problems in mingling with other members in the group, and did not want to take initiative in any activity.  However, after attending few sessions, with the help of group activities, she started to get involved in the group.

The Change:  She now takes care of other children in the class to help them in case of any issues in understanding during sessions.

The Dream Power:  Alisha says,“I am confident now. In the yoga class, when my teacher asks me to show the types of Asanas (Yoga postures); I show them without any hesitation. I take initiative in answering the teacher’s questions in my school. I grab opportunities to learn by expressing my view point. I can share my feelings now which helped me to get rid of my selfishness and it also helped me to know who my true friends are. I do not have stage fear now. For example, I did the ‘Master of Ceremony’ in the Children’s day celebration without any hurdle. This is because of the help from Dream A Dream classes. Now I feel I am thinking positively at each step. I want to become a Radio Jockey, my brother is my inspiration to do so. With the help of Dream A Dream, I am much more confident and I can achieve my dream.”

 Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (December 2012 – February 2013):

  1. We are all set to start our core programmes for 3500 young people in mid-June and have plans to reach out to 5000 young people in the coming months.
  2. 40-45 facilitators are being trained to deliver life skill programs to help deepen the impact of the programs.
  3. 32 children and 9 volunteers were part of our first Outdoor Experiential Camp of the year which happened from 18th to 21st May 2013.
  4. 133 young adults were benefited through our summer batches from Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Centre, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.  Teaching them Basic computer skills, English speaking, workplace readiness, career guidance, and career talks.  We are also happy to share with you that one of our young adult have successfully completed her Café Coffee Day Vocational training and has been successfully placed in one of the outlets in Bangalore.
  5. First cycle of Mentor training is scheduled to start on June 2nd for a set of 20-25 volunteers.
  6. Teacher Development Workshop was delivered to 52 teachers from 2 of our partner schools with focus on Life Skills Facilitation.  The programme aims to train teachers and community workers to facilitate the development of Life Skills amongst young people in their own schools and regions. The workshops in particular are focused on enabling adults to deepen the understanding of self and young people.  Here is what a teacher had to share from the workshop “Firstly, I have improved myself in a manner which will allow me to work patiently with children or with young people for their success.”
  7. Vishal Talreja, Co-founder and Executive Director of Dream A Dream was on a 2-month learning and inspirational journey through the Eisenhower Fellowship programme, U.S.  Know more about his trip; follow his everyday updates on his facebook page- Dreamer on the Go- Vishal Talreja

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!


Thank You!!

Reflections on an activity at the camp
Reflections on an activity at the camp
At teacher training
At teacher training

Links:

Apr 23, 2013

Glimpses of the Year Gone By!

All set to strike a goal
All set to strike a goal

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."  ~ Edward Kennedy 

As we continue to create a vibrant, positive and healthy future for our young people, by nurturing and nourishing them to “not give up hope,” and believe in their dreams, your support has been critical to make it happen.  Thank you for your continued support to help us in our endeavour to empower and transform the lives of young people from vulnerable backgrounds.

We have had an absolutely fantastic year and we write to you today to engage you in the celebration of everything that we have achieved over the last year.

What better way to celebrate than to celebrate the achievements of the young people who give purpose to our lives.  One such celebration is of Janardhan (name changed) An 11 year old who has been an active participant in our Life Skills through Arts programme for 2 years now.

The Challenge:  He comes from a broken, abusive and violent background which has made him very aggressive and short-tempered.   He was very naughty; hitting, biting, irritating others, tearing paper, and walking away from the class.  No one would sit with him.  He would tear his drawing sheets because he felt he was not good enough.   He would use foul language, wear dirty clothes to school, and would not wear his shoes;  instead he held them in his hand.  One day, the facilitator asked Janardhan about his problems and he explained to her all his pain.  He shared how his mother is very abusive, beats him, and will not let him wear his shoes because they will get dirty. The facilitator requested his classmates to assist him and many of them started to do so.

The Change:  When it was observed by the facilitator that he was not participating, she asked what had happened and he replied, “Mam, I don’t know how to draw.”  Janardhan was then asked to draw whatever he feels like.  He then asked his facilitator if he can copy a drawing from a book and she approved.  Then after a few minutes, he finally drew something and the facilitator praised him for participating and showed the entire group.

After receiving praise from the facilitator and some of his classmates that day, he stopped tearing and crushing his drawing sheets.

The Dream Power:  More recently, when the facilitator has asked the classmates about Janardhan, they gave very positive feedback. “Mam, he has become silent. Sometimes he is aggressive but because other children tell him to do bad things, tell lies about him and complain to the teacher. The teacher still punishes him. He still gets angry with other boys but it is no longer his fault. He has become a good boy now.” Some of his classmates even share their lunch with him.

Over the years, we have seen Janardhan transform into a less aggressive and more supportive participant.

The facilitator stood rock-solid through this violent behaviour in sessions; all the time noticing and validating his positive behaviour.  He has now learnt to draw without worrying about being laughed at, to attend sessions regularly, even negotiating with his mother amongst other demands, has started showing healthy habits of being clean for the sessions and throwing litter in a garbage bin and as per his peers, he is less of a bully now.

All small but extremely significant changes that will help Janardhan learn to trust himself and people around him and hopefully make healthy choices in life.  For us at Dream A Dream, these subtle changes mean a life time of healthy choices.

Organizational Highlights

  • Over 31,000 young people directly and indirectly impacted in the year.
  • Started the year with inviting two remarkable people onto the Board of Trustees of Dream A Dream – Sandeep Farias and Meera Harish. You can read more about them at http://dreamadream.org/about-us/governing-board/. In addition, Vishal Talreja, our current Executive Director also joined the Board while continuing in his current role.
  • Raised and got commitments for Rs. 2.7 Crore (USD 540,000) from our hugely committed network of donors which include individuals, corporates and foundations.
  • Participated in the Sony European Graduate Programme Enterprise Project through StreetFootballworld. As part of this project 5 of SONY’s Graduate Students supported Dream A Dream with establishing a strategic partnership with a sports based club, association or company to further Dream A Dream’s scale plans.
  • Ms.  Suchetha Bhat, COO was featured in the local newspaper, Bangalore Mirror, where she talks about our Dream Mentoring Programme.  Please follow the link below to read the article   http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/81/20120922201209222022029779692d076/Wanted-not-teachers-but-awakeners.html
  • Other media coverage of Dream A Dream through the year at http://dreamadream.org/category/news/
  • Awarded as 3rd highest fundraising NGO at the TCS World 10K Bangalore held in May 2012
  • Received Silver Trophy at the Global Sports Forum, Barcelona for our work in the arena of Sports 4 Development
  • A committed team of 50 staff members helped us achieve our targets.

Programme Highlights

  • 3050 young people actively engaged in our core life skills programmes – 1663 in Life skills through Sports and 1387 in Life skills through Creative Arts.
  • For every 2 boys there is 1 girl participating in the Programmes - with more boys participating in the Life Skills through Sports programme and more girls in the Life Skills through Arts programme.
  • Over 117 batches are run across 18 locations in Bangalore, engaging 25-30 young people per batch in the core Life Skills programmes
  • 24 Life Skills facilitators trained to deliver the curriculum based sessions; 86% of the sessions conducted are consistent across facilitators and over 90% met quality expectations in the delivery of programmes.
  • A healthy average attendance of 81.3% across programmes
  • Implementing new session delivery model –
    • 9 month intervention
    • 30-35 sessions per batch
    • 2 hours per session once a week
    • 20 curriculum based and 10-15 unstructured sessions
  • 10 Outdoor Experiential Camps completed engaging over 367 young people.
  • 948 young people actively engaged.  488 girls and 460 boys engaged with 83% average attendance in skills for Career Development such as Computer education, Spoken English, Outdoor Experiential Camps, Mentoring, Career guidance courses.
  • 65 young people have access to a volunteer mentor.  103 volunteer mentors have been trained in the year.
  • 1271 volunteers have been engaged clocking over 19,767 volunteers hours.  Dream A Dream is amongst 10 organizations short-listed from across India for its Volunteer Engagement Programme by IVolunteer India.
  • Over 27000 young people indirectly impacted through 276 Teachers/youth workers/facilitators through 2-day Life Skill Facilitation workshops.
  • Geographic spread of Partnerships and Trainings - Built partnerships with two organizations running programmes outside Bangalore – Mumbai and Rural Karnataka. Additionally, have successfully developed partnerships with schools in Bangalore, where other Dream A Dream Life Skills programmes are delivered.
  • Strategic Support received from Marshall Foundation, Oberoi Family Foundation and through a fundraising evening hosted by Ian and Victoria Watson in London jointly with Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE). 

Once again, Thank You for your continuous support and we look forward to building a long lasting relationship with you to realize many more "Dreams"

Our future Stars!!
Our future Stars!!
Apr 18, 2013

Thank you for Unlocking Smiles!!

A Million Dollar Smile!
A Million Dollar Smile!

Dear Patrons/Volunteers/Supporters,

"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." ~ Mother Theresa

It has been a great pleasure to have been associated with you through The “Unlock Smiles” campaign initiated by Dream A Dream.  Through this campaign we have been able to unlock 4667 smiles translating to a fund inflow of Rs. 9,33,400/-. This supports the life skills education of 389 young people for an entire year. We have had several feelings throughout this journey – inspiration, difficulty, happiness , optimistic, amazed, overjoyed, rewarding, ecstatic, thankful, spirited, touched, perplexed, courageous, loved and plenty more.

We take away a lot of learning and good friends for life.  We hope that you have had positive emotions triggered when contributing to the “Unlock smiles” campaign.  It was only with incredible support from the volunteers in the campaign and several out of the box ideas we introduced to make it fun for the facilitators and the contributors, you might have been reached as a  participant in one of the events listed below–

  1. “Bake Sale" at Trio International School
  2. “Smiley at your desk" in Oracle (Lexington office).
  3. “Tour De Smiles" – cycling event.
  4. “Quiz your way to Smiles" at Doff pub.
  5. “Dedicate a Smile" for Women’s day.
  6. Tied up with Lagori the rock band for Sunday Soul Sante.
  7. Corporate promotions by VMware & Microsoft  who sent internal mails to promote the event.

We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for being there with us and hope that you will be associated with Dream A Dream in an active or passive form even in the distant future.

We encourage you to continue contributing when you have a reason to celebrate, dedicate a gift to someone you love, just want to do something different, spread the word with your friends.  The “UnlockSmiles” online payment gateway & website will be kept open through this year in anticipation of reaching our target of 10,000 smiles.

With Dreams,

Dream Team

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