3000 children, 97 batches, across 16 locations in Bangalore are meaningfully engaged 1-2 times a week in core Life Skills programs. This has largely being possible due to the commitments and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us build this organization – one child at a time.
A child like Girish.
Girish is a 17-year old, young man currently pursuing his 2nd year of pre-university education. During this 9th grade, he was introduced to Makkala Jagriti, an NGO that was running a learning centre in his neighbourhood. He joined the learning centre to pick up some computer skills. It was during these visits that he was introduced to Dream A Dream and its various life skills programs. Girish was also keen to learn and play football but was unable to join the school team because he didn’t know how to play the game. Dream A Dream introduced the “Life Skills Thru Football” program for children and young people at Makkala Jagriti and Girish saw an opportunity to make his dream come true.
Girish initially struggled to pick up the skills. In his own words, “I was not at all playing correctly at beginning stage. But my coach instead of scolding me or punishing me, he encouraged me a lot. That encouragement and support of my coach and my parents gave me a will power in playing football.”
During his 10th grade, he became the captain of the School Football Team, a reflection of the self-confidence he was picking up along with the football skills. He ably led his school team in many tournaments. In one such tournament, Girish mentions that they reached upto the semi-finals and then lost a tough match. He says, “My team was very disappointed when we lost the match but I still encouraged my team.”
His passion for football continued in his college days as he continued to be an active participant in the Dream Life Skills Thru Football program. When Dream A Dream got an opportunity to send a team at a National Tournament in Nagpur, Girish was a natural choice. Girish’s excitement was visible, “That was the first time I went so far to play football. In that tournament we met with players from other states, they were very friendly with us. We enjoyed that, but coming to match, it was very tough tournament. Even then we didn’t give up and played hard. We tried our best but unluckily we lost in semi-finals. The whole team was very disappointed, but still our coach was encouraging us. On the last day of the tournament, our team got the Fair Play Award. That moment made us very happy.”
The tournament was also a platform to select a National Team for the Homeless World Cup to be hosted in Paris in August. 3 players from the Dream A Dream Team were short-listed to go for the National selections. Hence, Girish and 2 of his team-mates were back in Nagpur for the National selections. It was a tough group since there were young people from many different states and Girish put in his best effort. A few weeks later when Girish was informed that he was one of the young people selected for the team that will represent India at the Homeless World Cup, his happiness knew no bounds. He said, “I am very happy to represent our great Nation. My aim is to play good in the match and bring a good name to our India. I am sure that I will achieve in this because my parents and my coaches blessings will be always on me .And I am very thankful to Dream A Dream and KVSN.”
Being the eldest son in the family, Girish is well aware of his responsibilities and the expectations his parents have of him. Girish admits, “My parents have a lot of expectations on me that I will perform good in my studies and as I am interested in football, they expect me to perform well in that too. I am confident that I will perform well in both and I have to - because my father works as a gardener and my mother works as a maid. Keeping this in mind I am doing good in my studies and waiting for a good opportunity in football. Later on in my future I will have to look after my family.”
“What a pleasure it was to spend time with him in Paris! I think over time I have grown to understand your organization and it's philosophies more and more and in my opinion Girish encompasses all that you want to achieve. He was a great ambassador for Dream A Dream, Slum Soccer and above all was a fabulous representative of Team India. It might be that it is his nature to be as polite and friendly as he is, but I think your work has gone a long way in moulding him into the fine young man that he is today. You have with you a gem of a boy. Cherish him and I'm certain he will repay you all for your efforts.
All in all, and in retrospect it was a fabulous start to our association with regards to the Homeless World Cup. I look forward to having more of your boys and at least one girl on the Indian team to Mexico City 2012.” ~ Akshay Madhavan, Slum Soccer post Girish’s participation at the Homesless World Cup in Paris in 2011.
We at Dream A Dream are tremendously proud of Girish for this commitment, determination and faith in his dreams. He reinforces our belief that when children and young people are given the right learning opportunities and guidance they will bloom and build in them the confidence to take on life challenges.
We look forward to this year with excitement and hope. Everyday brings a smile on our face when we see a child taking on challenges in their life with determination and commitment. You are an integral part of this journey and YOUR support makes all the difference.
We have just launched a campaign to enroll 200 donors in our monthly giving program. You can sign-up to be a monthly giver at GlobalGiving and ensure that every child at Dream A Dream is able to graduate successfully from our Life Skills program just as Vishnu did.
Thank you. Do visit our website for continued updates at www.dreamadream.org
The New Year at Dream A Dream started in April and in June as the school year began, 2400 children in the age group of 6-15 enrolled into our Life Skills Programs for the year. This was the most number of children we have enrolled in our programs in a single month.
Over 80 batches are run across 15 locations in Bangalore, India 1-2 times a week engaging 25-30 children per batch in core Life Skills programs. This has largely being possible due to the commitments and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us build this organization – one child at a time.
A child like Vishnu.
From unlocking the computer room at 3 PM to packing up the laptops and locking it up, Vishnu would do everything. One look at him and you’ll realize that he is pretty much the star of the school, a kind of icon that his classmates look up to. Vishnu recently completed 2 years at the Dream Life Skills program teaching computers and as he graduated from this 10th grade, his confidence was clearly visible.
Coming from a free school run by a partner charity because his parents could not afford to send him to school, Vishnu has been a story of determination and transformation.
Vishnu can be characterized by his ability to take initiative and volunteer for tasks in the sessions and at the same time committed to complete all his session plans as part of his learning. Along with completing the given activity on time, he would assist in buying snacks and packing up after the session. Being one of few who have the privilege of owning a computer, Vishnu puts it to good use. Not only does he learn and practice at home but also ensures that his peers are doing well.
Vishnu wears a naughty grin on his face, perpetually and at the same time is one of the most brilliant students in his class.
The Dream LearnIT program helped not only hone is computer skills but also helped him inculcate in himself some life skills which he began exhibiting in his behavior.
Looking ahead, one cannot deny that Vishnu’s future is bright.
We at Dream A Dream feel tremendously proud of Vishnu’s achievements and are happy that we are able to provide these experiences to over 3000 children a year now.
Some of the key highlights of the last 3 months have been:
We have just launched a campaign to enroll 200 donors in our monthly giving program. You can sign-up to be a monthly giver at Global Giving and ensure that every child at Dream A Dream is able to graduate successfully from our Life Skills program just as Vishnu did.
Thank you. Do visit our website for continued updates at www.dreamadream.org
Greetings from Dream A Dream!
Someone rightly said, "Every child can be reached; you just have to stretch far enough." ~ Copyright © 2006 Robyn Sorrell. At Dream A Dream, it is a consistent endeavour to reach out to many more like you to support our effort to reach out to every child we can.
Thank you very much for coming forward to support Dream A Dream with your generous contributions.
The funds contributed by you will help Dream A Dream continue to strengthen and deepen its work with its 3000 children. Here is a few examples of how;
Faheem is 17-years old and after being part of the Life Skills Programs at Dream A Dream, he started volunteering in our computer education program to support other children like him. “I am putting my free time to use. Since I attend evening college, I have a lot of time during the day. My experience with Dream A Dream was extremely good. I learnt a huge amount in such a small amount of time. It's amazing working with children.”
Here is another story from one of our facilitators as they heard it from Saraswathi, a young adult at Dream A Dream.
Saraswathi is 15 years old and lives with her father, mother and sisters. When she was in her High-School she got associated with Dream A Dream and participated in their various Life Skills Development programs. The participation gave her courage and self-confidence. This inspired her to study well and complete her 10th standard. It made her sad that she would not be able to keep in touch with Dream A Dream (since she was leaving the school). But then she got to know of a new opportunity – Life Skills for Career Development at the DreamConnect Center run by Dream A Dream. They were offering Spoken English Classes over the summer vacation.
Sarawathi was delighted and joined the program. Meanwhile, her 10th grade board exams results were announced and she passed in flying colours. However, she was anxious because she was unable to choose a particular stream of college education (Arts/Commerce/Science). DreamConnect introduced her to a Career Counselor and through an assessment she confidently chose to pursue a degree in Commerce.
Since then, she is a regular at the DreamConnect center. Saraswathi expresses her gratitude and hopes that more youth will benefit in future.
In the year 2011-12, Dream A Dream has impacted the lives of 3000 children and young adults like Faheem and Saraswathi with your belief and faith in us.
Do check out our latest updated and sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.dreamadream.org. We would also love to hear from you about how else you can support us and how we can build this community of supporters.
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you,
Co-founder & Executive Director
Dream A Dream
Dream A Dream is a professional NGO focused on empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds by developing life skills and at the same time creating a sensitive community through active volunteering. We offer high quality, high-impact after-school life skills learning programs to over 3000 children every year using mediums such as sports, outdoor adventure, creative arts, computer education, mentoring and Life Skills for career development.
The children largely come from vulnerable backgrounds such as orphans, abandoned or runaway children and many of them from Bangalore’s urban slum communities. While their basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and education are taken care of, Dream A Dream provides them the critical opportunities to develop skills such as creative thinking, decision making, team skills, communication and inter-personal skills amongst others that are so crucial to help them breakout of the cycle of poverty.
You will be delighted to know that Dream A Dream was recently announced as the Winner of the “Outstanding Annual Report of the Year Award”. The CEO of CSO Partners stated, “We congratulate you for upholding high standards of transparency and disclosure in this most important credibility building tool.”
Dream A Dream has been a Regional Finalist at the India NGO Awards in 2007 & 2009; Runner-up at the Outstanding Annual Report Awards in 2008 & 2009 and a Runner-up at the Global Award for Most Innovative Development Project 2010.
Season's Greetings from Dream A Dream!
This brings you the report card for Dream Life Skills Development Program (Dream Program) for first half of current academic year; June - November 2010. Overall it has been a great success! This academic year, the program has close to 2500 students from 11 schools across Bangalore already enrolled. The target is to close the year in March reaching out to 3000 children. Students are doing well in schools and in the Dream Programs. Some of the highlights of this year have been:
Thank you for choosing to make a difference to the lives of our children. Your support is truly appreciated. We hope you are satisfied with our updates. We look forward to building a long lasting relationship with you.
Thank you once again for believing and engaging in our work.
In this update we bring you a few moments that became milestones for the children. Thank you for helping us help them.
The following two narratives are from our Dream Adventure Program and Dream Creative Arts Program. A story of a girl-child for whom an outdoor adventure camp was an experience of realization of self-achievement, of breaking barriers, norms & rules stated by our culture, religion and socio-political set up. The second story is of an 8 year old for whom an appreciation is the beginning of his learning in building interpersonal relationships.
Nita (name changed) was one of the most active participants in camp. She showed good teamwork and took a lot of initiative. On the last day of camp at ‘Circle Time’, reflecting on her experience of having fun and learning new skills said, “Everyone thinks only men can survive hard physical work and activities that require courage. In this all Girl’s Camp, we have proven that is not true. We can do whatever we set our mind on…its just needs a little effort”. The true inner strength of this young girl was reflected in this sharing. The rest of the group agreed with what Nita had to say and her feedback was received with a thunderous applause.
Anil (name changed) was rude and unwilling to follow instructions. Midway through the sessions a breakthrough happened. In one session, the facilitator introduced the concept of geometric shapes using circles as an example but the children were given the option to use any geometric form that they wished to. Anil cooperated and painted bold squares on the sheet of paper given to him. The facilitators appreciated his work. Post the episode, Anil is willing to take instruction, sincerely paints and has fun while doing so. He still continues to talk and do mischief in the class, but is not rude.
All the children in Dream A Dream programs come from extremely vulnerable backgrounds where they have little or no exposure to a learning environment to develop life skills. The Program gives children an opportunity to discover their inner strength and a safe space to explore their skills, attitudes and overcome challenges. The personal growth they experience is something that will stay with them for a long-time and give them the strength to fight the many battles that life throws at them.
These instances also reinforces our belief that empowerment is possible when we develop life skills and life skills are needed for a wholesome approach to child development.
We have great support from many people and institutions and we appreciate their contributions, time, and effort to help others. We are a team who strives to make a difference in children’s lives. Thank you for choosing to make a difference to the lives of our children. Your support is truly appreciated. We look forward to building a long lasting relationship with you.
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