Few things possess more power than empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds with life skills. Life skills provide a child with the “tools” necessary for engaging with life in a wholesome manner. Dream A Dream mission is empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds with life coping skills.
Conceptualizing Dream Life Skills Development Program as an intervention that supplements regular schooling and helps Completing Education for vulnerable children is the big idea. Moving beyond the child’s need of food, shelter, academic education and focusing on developing life skills is the core idea of Dream Programs.
Dream Programs performance for Academic year June 2009 – March 2010 was impressive. Total number of children enrolled in Dream Life Skill Development Program for 2009-10 was 2172 (54% boys and 46% girls). The average attendance was 85% and the dropout rate was less than one percent.
The year end highlight was the closing ceremony of each of the Dream Programs.
Dream Learn IT Program closing ceremony was called ‘Bits & Bytes’. The objective of ‘Bits & Bytes’ was to showcase the competence of children in handling computer applications and provide an opportunity for the children to make a presentation in front of an audience. The event was a smashing success and our little dreamers the stars of the show. They took to the stage with the ease of practiced veterans, presenting on topics which ranged from pollution problems in cities to the role of computers in society today. Intimidating as it may have seemed to them to stand in a room of over 200 people and speak for the first time, they were able to conquer their fears and face the crowd with courage. It is amazing to think that just a few short months have transformed these children from shy, awkward individuals to strong, determined people. Thanks to our dedicated and trained volunteer-trainers, the life skills development program developed to nurture these children to their best potential produced amazing results.
To quote Pablo Picasso: “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. In Dream Creative Arts Program, all the artists are children. Here, children have a chance to explore and express themselves through one of the most powerful mediums available-ART! In celebration of this, 3 exhibitions were held as the closing ceremony. According to Kinnar Shah, Dream Champion, “It’s amazing to see how far the kids have come. I remember one little girl used to cry every time we asked her to draw or paint something. She was so scared because she didn’t know what to do. By the end of the program, she was so confident and sure, she created something all on her own. She drew a perfectly beautiful lotus and made a collage out of it”.
Dream Sports Program is one of the corner stones of Dream A Dream. The culmination of this year’s activities was a soccer tournament. The result was an exciting week of soccer, fun and laughter. As one member of the Dream staff put it, “Natural Leaders emerged who took control of a situation and rose to the occasion. Yellow Socks was such a natural leader!” ‘Yellow socks’, affectionately named so by the Dream staff because of her bright yellow socks, is one of our little dreamers. She was so enthusiastic and excited about the event that she consistently motivated her team to win. Unfortunately for little Yellow Socks, her team lost!
For some present that day, such as Revanna, Dream Champion, it was a full circle moment. Revanna started as one of the children in the program five years back. When asked why he loves being part of Dream Sports Program, his answer is a fitting conclusion to a beautiful year of accomplishments and triumphs at Dream A Dream: “I want to be a good sportsman one day”.
To reach a larger number of children, scaling the Dream Programs is essential. Dream A Dream has aims to reach 4000 children in academic year June 2010-March 2011.
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.
To know more about Dream A Dream and its work, we invite you to visit our website http://dreamadream.org.
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