Dear Co dreamers,
We are excited to say that our 6 young people who are part of the Life Skills through Sports programme got a life time opportunity when they were selected to participate at the FIFA Football For Hope Festival, 2014 at Brazil that run parrallel to the world cup.
Along with this report, I want to share with you a volunteer story from the Dream outdoor experiential camp, followed by a few highlights of Dream A Dream programme.
The training camp lead by two lead facilitators Nilisha and Boppana was truly amazing and definitely set a benchmark the way camps can be lead. Every detail was kept in mind at all times to create a space where each of us felt encouraged to explore and nurture ourselves of our skills and talents. It was heartening to see how young people were open to express their thoughts and ideas and take creative risks.
Every staff meeting the leads would talk about what they saw was not going good, and how we could help get the group’s energy up. Things like how zoombas (camp volunteers) have to treat young people as equal, our need to come forward in gratitude circle and show how it is not only the big things that deserve gratitude , importance to push our edge and its effects on the young people, etc. It was also good to see how zoombas and leads worked as one team and were in sync.
Jayanth (a student attending the camp) said “it is difficult to get spaces like this where we can share freely.” The grace and honesty in which he lead the workshop with his friend Rakshith where we made science models, the way he owned the group, took us step by step on how to make a rocket with simple and clear instructions was excellent. As a next activity, we had to make a solar system. He took ideas from each one of us on how we would want to do it and let us do the model.
The way Maria Pradeep (a student attending the camp) lead the workshop about life skills where he was constantly challenging the group to be together and keep calm and attentive, modified his instructions and took the group together to the goal. Had a reflection circle at the end to hear about the experience from the participants. Took what he felt was important and brought it to the group to know what others wanted to say. I was amazed to see how he had conducted the workshop and debrief of the same.
I can just go on with everything I saw, and even after so many days of camp, the memories and learning’s stay fresh. This has been one of most special camp I have attended so far.
Please scroll down to see a few pictures from the programme. We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.
We are very excited to inform you that we are counting days to take participate in FIFA festival 2014. 6 young people and 6 young leaders of our programme is participating in the esteemed programme will be held in Brazil. They are also got an opportunity to watch live quarter final world cup football match 2014.
With this report I would want to share with you the Alisha (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator followed by a few highlights of Dream A Dream programme.
The Challenge: Alisha (name changed) is a 14 year old girl studying in the 8th grade has been part of the Dream Life Skills through Arts Programme since August 2012.
The Life Skills facilitator observed that Alisha was not regular in the sessions and used to give reasons like, “I am not well, I have to leave my sister to school, Relatives have come home, etc.” Initially the facilitator thought that Alisha was not interested in the programme and attempted to talk to her but it didn’t work.
Subsequently the facilitator observed that during sessions, other participants were not friendly with Alisha. They were not willing to mingle with her and avoided sitting next to her. If anyone sat next to Alisha, that person was laughed and teased by the others. During a personal conversation with the facilitator, Alisha shared that since no one was friendly with her and the she was teased and scolded even at school, she did not want to attend the sessions. Alisha further shared that her classmates refused to help her in class work. When she brought this to principal’s notice, she scolded her back. Her parents convinced her saying they will change her school next year.
The Change: During one of the Life Skill sessions, the facilitator observed that no one wanted to pair with Alisha. After the session, the facilitator posed this question to the group and one of the participants mentioned that they felt that “Alisha is not clean and is not a decent girl.”
The facilitator realized the gravity of the discrimination and engaged Alisha in one-on-one conversations. The facilitators focus was to build her strength, resilience and ability to deal with this discrimination. Slowly building a personal bond with Alisha, providing her with lots of authentic validation, creating a safe space for Alisha to share her feelings and by listening to her, the facilitator managed to transform Alisha.
The facilitator shared her own story and encouraged Alisha to stay on in the programme. Alisha shared this with her mother and her mother encouraged her to attend these sessions. Through regular interactions with the facilitator, building her trust on the facilitator, Alisha became interested in attending the sessions and gradually the other participants noticed Alisha’s interest and talent.
The facilitator gradually noticed that Alisha started taking leadership, engaging with others and learning to deal with her feelings when others were teasing her. For instance, one day she could not complete her class work; her teacher did not allow her to attend the session. But Alisha was interested. She requested the facilitator to get her permission from the principal to attend session. She got it done.
One day Alisha shared with the facilitator, “Akka (sister), my friends celebrated my birthday using their own money and they are friendly with me!” Alisha is moving forward in her life positively and wants to continue in life skill sessions next year also.
The Dream Power: At Dream A Dream, the core of our intervention with young people centers around bringing care and empathy in our engagement with them. Through deep listening, building personal connections, acceptance, validation and creating safe learning spaces, we develop critical life skills in young girls like Alisha.
“This Training helped me to change my way of communication and interaction, I learnt the importance of the two in my day to day life and most importantly as a Teacher.” – Teacher, Youth For Seva after attending Life Skills Facilitator’s training level3
We are happy to inform you that The Life Skills Assessment Scale has been developed by Dr. David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy from the UK who have been working together with Dream A Dream over the past five years to develop and publish a standardized and reliable impact measure for Dream A Dream’s Life Skills programmes for children from vulnerable backgrounds.
With this report I would want to share with you the story of Seema (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator followed by a few highlights of Dream A Dream programme
The Challenge: Seema is a 12 year old girl studying in the 6th grade at Shama Vidya Shaala, a school for children from vulnerable backgrounds. Seema has been part of the Dream Life Skills through Football Programme since August 2012.
According to the facilitator, Seema is a simple and well-spoken girl. She is regular participant and enjoys learning football and the various activities at the session. She is an active participant and encourages other participants to more attentive and positive in the sessions.
During one of the sessions that was themed around Communication and Building Relationships, the facilitator makes the following observation. “We started with a game of Handball. Seema was very enthusiastic and started off with lots of energy and excitement. In about 20-minutes, Seema seems to have lost interest in the activity and I didn’t notice that she had gone out of the group and sitting in one corner. When I noticed her missing, I realized she had stopped playing and went ahead to find out what happened. Seema shared that she was not getting the ball even though she tried and started weeping.”
The Change: The facilitator heard and validated her. At the end of the session, during reflection time, Seema shared how she felt unseen with the rest of her team-mates. He used that as an opportunity to also share a similar story from his life when I felt unseen and alone and everyone seemed to understand. Seema felt reassured and that story helped her feel positive about life.”
In Seema’s own words, “I like playing in the team especially playing against friends gives lots of confidence. I enjoy sessions because I get to play. By coming for football sessions I was able to perform well in my social studies, earlier I used to be poor in this subject after speaking to you (facilitator) and hearing to your story made biggest impact to do well in social studies and got good marks. Session makes it even more special by sports as a group.”
The Dream Power: At Dream A Dream, our work with young people stands on the belief that when we engage with young people with care and empathy, they respond and learn. In above instance, the facilitator, created a safe space for Seema to share how she felt, the facilitator validated and acknowledged her emotions, built a personal connection with her and used this experience to share a personal story from her own life. In all this, the facilitator was deeply committed to helping Seema develop her Life Skills and feel seen and heard.
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights
Please scroll down to see a few pictures from the programme. We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.
“Growth” is the word that best captures Dream A Dream’s journey so far this year. We have now reached out to 4739 young people directly through our life skills programme. Our Dream Team is growing and today we have 70 member staff with sharp design and delivery skills.
With this report I would want to share with you a few highlights so far and the story of Goutham (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator, Kishen.
Meet Goutham, who is studying in 4th standard and has been part of our Dream life skills programmes since the start of this year.
The Challenge: When we started sessions, he was very mischievous and would sit in the back bench of the class and disturb his friends. He was never attentive in class and showed the same behaviour in our sessions. He would pretend to be doing the assigned activity during the sessions. One day, I sat with him and spoke with him regarding this issue and asked him to be attentive in the classes and to understand the instructions carefully before he does the activity. During the next session in the Reflection circle I asked Goutham to take initiative and speak about the experience he had in the activity. He said “I don’t know what to speak.“ After the session that day, we both had another chat for 20 minutes and I explained that if he had participated in the activity with interest and dedication he would have been able to speak like the others. Also I explained what life skills are and why they are important just like academics is in our life.
The Change: From that day Goutham has realized and has been showing interest in sessions and also participates very actively. Now, he loves the sessions so much that he asks me to take more than 3 classes in a week. He follows all instructions carefully and asks for clarifications. He also takes initiative to lead the group.
The Dream Power: At Dream A Dream, we take pride in our approach to bring 'care and empathy' into our engagement with young people through Life Skills Facilitators like Kishen. Kishen’s ability to build a personal bond with Goutham and gain his trust; Kishen’s ability to not give up on Goutham and create a safe and supportive learning space for Goutham are hallmarks of Dream A Dream’s unique approach to learning.
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights:
We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.
As we continue to weave the magic for this year there is excitement all around and the schools are bustling with energy. In this update, we are excited to share with you story of Najma from our Life Skills Programme.
Meet Najma, a 13-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Creative Arts Programme since the last year.
The Challenge: Najma was well behaved through the sessions but was afraid of talking in front of other children and would not allow herself to be completely involved in the sessions. One of the methods Lokesh (our facilitator) uses during the sessions to create a space that gives a chance for each young person to become a leader is to call on a different student in each session for that day’s activity. During one such activity called ‘alien conference’ (an activity which is designed to build creativity and communication skills); one person gets to be an “alien” who is invited to a conference and gets to make up their own language to speak and there is a “translator” who translates what the alien is saying to the audience (the rest of the class).
The Change: Najma was the “translator” who had to explain to others what her "alien" partner was saying. Her creativity really came out during this activity and she fabricated an intricate story about aliens which fascinated the other children. She came to the art facilitator at the end of the class to tell him how much she liked the activity. After the alien conference, the artist in her came to the fore as she became more aware of her creativity and speech.
The Dream Power: With her new found strength, Najma started creating new games and activities for her peers to enjoy. One of the new games she made was a hand clapping game which she demonstrated to the entire group. Since she designed these new games, the children listen to her and followed her instructions. She has become a leader in the class and is more comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas with others and the facilitator. She wants to continue Dream A Dream creative arts sessions next year. Says Najma to the facilitator, “When school is boring, I have the Dream A Dream class to look forward to.”
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (April 2013 – August 2013):
At Dream Connect center our young person, Zahid (name changed) mentions something interesting in the reflection circle. He said “Before coming to Dream Connect center I used to smoke a lot. My mother used to repeatedly insist that I should quit smoking but I always ignored her. But after participating in the DreamConnect program and having discussions with the group here, I’ve decided to give up smoking. I haven’t even touched a cigarette in over a week now. Thanks to Mahesh (DreamConnect – Facilitator) and my friends for consistently guiding me to change”
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!
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