Its mid year already and the excitement continues. We are delighed to be back to share with you all the happenings and highlights thus far.
I would like to start it with this quote “Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal.” ~ Jerome P. Fleishman
Meet Revathi (name changed), a young adult from our Dream Life Skills Through Football Programme, who by her willingness combined with encouragement from our facilitator and praise from her friends was able to come out of her shell and explore her strengths which is sure to help her go for her Dreams!!
The Challenge: At the beginning of the programme, Revathi was very shy and would not speak with anyone. If she had any doubts, she would tell her friend who would then ask the facilitator. She was too shy to have a direct conversation with her facilitator.
One day, during an unstructured session, the facilitator did a drama activity in which she did not perform with the rest of the children. After the session, the facilitator spoke to her and invited her to participate. Revathi said, she was too shy and if she performed, others would make fun of her.
The Change: The facilitator gave her the challenge of being the lead actress in the upcoming drama, and she took on this challenge and performed very well. All of her friends and others in the session praised her which gave her a strong sense of confidence. After the drama performance, her male peers also praised her and this made her more comfortable with them. This led to her not being afraid of the others and she even started mingling with the boys at the sessions.
The Dream Power: As she continued in football matches, she became friends with these boys and she was no longer afraid to play football with them and challenge them in matches. She has become a very good football player. Her brother is in the football programme too and helps her learn how to play. At first, only her brother was allowed to attend the football programme. Now, she has finally convinced her parents to let her play and they are very happy about her new found sense of confidence. She and her brother practice playing football together after coming back school.
We at Dream A Dream feel honoured and take pride in presenting to you the Mid-year Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights as we have flown in to the first half of the year.
Organization Updates and Highlights:
Programme Updates and Highlights:
Thank you for walking this journey with us and we look forward for your continous support. Visit the link below to unlock a few smiles and spread the word through your networks.
We have kick started our core programmes for this year and there is excitement all around; and it is raining highlights. Special thanks to each one of you for being a tremendous support in helping us continue to empower and transform lives of young people from vulnerable backgrounds.
With this update we would want to share with you story of Shekar (name changed), who is part of Dream Life Skills through Sports Program.
Meet Shekar, a 16-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Football Programme since last 2 years. His father is a driver and his mother works as a domestic help. His hobbies include playing football and listening to music.
The Challenge: Shekar was very shy in the beginning, not speaking with anyone. His parents are very supportive of him and want him to get involved in activities at school but he has never been able to. During the first few sessions at the Life Skills through Football programme, Shekar would never try new skills when the facilitator asked him to. Shekar explained that he was too afraid to make a mistake because he thought people would laugh at him. He narrated an incident from his life about when he was in the 8th grade, he was called on to answer a question, which he got wrong, and the entire class laughed at him. From that day onwards, he does his work properly on paper but is too afraid to speak in front of other students.
In one session, a volunteer came to join the young people. The volunteer noticed Shekar’s shy behaviour and proceeded to support him during the match. The volunteer told him how good he was in the match in terms of his efforts and scoring a goal. Shekar had never been acknowledged like that and it gave him a bit of confidence. The volunteer told him his own personal story about how he used to be shy but as he grew older, he began to learn more and obtain more skills to become an engineer. The volunteer explained that everyone goes through times of doubt and he shouldn’t be discouraged by his peers.
After this interaction with the volunteer, the facilitator noticed Shekar communicating and participating more actively during sessions.
The Change: Once, when the facilitator was revisiting the team agreements (agreements are made by children themselves with the help of facilitator before start of the session every year which they follow during the sessions such as; being on time, no using bad language, etc. ), Shekar was first to raise his hand to explain the agreements. During the warm ups, Shekar started speaking and participating actively. The facilitator asked them to run five rounds around the grounds and Shekar raised his hand to suggest six rounds instead. His friends who lived near the grounds also participated in the sessions but did not attend regularly. Shekar decided to collect them before the sessions to ensure their attendance for that day’s session. Since he realized the importance of teamwork, Shekar would gather his friends to make sure everyone was accountable and part of the team.
When the facilitator spoke with Shekar’s teacher, she told him that he has started participating in school activities. He recently participated in a quiz competition and made it to the semi-finals. His teacher praised him for his academic efforts. Shekar’s parents are very happy that he has started taking an active part and has realized that he can achieve his goals. He discovered that he has the academic and extracurricular abilities and felt a renewed sense of confidence.
The Dream Power: Shekar confidently shares, “I like the activities including the fun games and playing as a team. I want to continue this programme next year in the tenth standard. I have the confidence to take part in all of the activities in the programme. My dream is to be a football player.”
Dream Life Skills programme is aimed to help young men like Shekar find their inner strength and confidence through powerful experiences, consistent messaging and role-modelling.
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (April 2013 – July 2013):
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!
"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.
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"
As we usher the New Year with lots of excitement and Dreams, we appreciate your sincere support that has helped us in motivating many young people over the years. This milestone was only possible with your belief in our work.
We offer our thanks and wish you peace and joy throughout the New Year.
To start the year with happiness and hope, we would like to share this story from this year’s program.
Meet Gowri (name changed) from our Life Skills Through Creative Arts Programme: Story as narrated by our facilitator. 7th standard, Stella Mary’s School, one of our partner schools.
Gowri has been in our Life Skills Through Football Programme since last year and this academic year she opted to be part of our Life Skills through Creative Arts.
Gowri’s father is a policeman, she is very proud of him and her mother is a housewife. When Gowri started attending our life skill programme this year she was negligent in the sessions during the first month, she would only get along with close group of 3 to 4 friends and would not participate fully in the session or interact with facilitator.
Changes after being in our Programme:
After a few weeks, she started to enjoy the sessions. She started to ask questions and take leadership. This change in her was evident in one reflection circle, a time where young children discuss and share about how they felt being part of the activity in the day’s session and reflect on their thoughts, very few students were participating; then she said – “lets all talk, lets share our feelings so that we can also learn from your experiences as well, so come up and speak”. She also started to help others who needed help with understanding.
In her words: “Dream life skill showed me a new life; I learned that we should not be selfish and partial to others. I understood what is my real life, dream life skills have made me realize what is my real life. I learned good habits, good discipline and good manners, how to respect the others. Now, I really understand my goals and aims, etc. I understand my friends habits, hobbies, character, likes, dislikes ,etc. the sessions taught me how to face challenges. I had a lot of stage fear earlier, now after coming to Dream life skills programs, I have no stage fear; I can speak anywhere. Earlier, I used to shiver with fear when any teacher asked me any question. I used to get tense about thinking whether my answer will be right or wrong. But now I am in a position to answer to any questions asked by the teachers without any fear. I visited my relative’s house in the Dasara holidays, where all relatives planned to make a game. I took the leadership of one group in that game and we won the game at the end. Everyone started praising me. I felt overwhelmed! Everyone asked how I became so active as opposite to my earlier nature of being a silent girl. I told them its due to dream life skills. Not only at my relative circle, but in classes and at house also, I am mingling with others with ease, and I make a lot of friends now.”
“I want to become a fashion designer in my life; else I will become a doctor.”
Organization and Programme Updates (November 2012 – January 2012):
P.S. - Both links attached below
Its rightly said “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for” ~ Allan K. Chalmers
Thank You for adding these Something’s to the life of many young people from vulnerable backgrounds through our (Dream A Dream's) Life Skill Programs by giving them hope for the best from their future and also by bringing in a caring adult into their life in the form of a life skill facilitator or a mentor.
One such Hope and Aspiration is of Raju's (name changed). Raju has been a part of our football program for the last two years. He is currently studyig in 8th standard at our partner organization. When he came into our program, he was not very interested. He used to do what the coach told him, but he was very lazy in all the activities and used foul language during the session. With regular attendance to the sessions, he gradually started improving both his football skills and even in his behaviour. He used to help the facilitator and soon started building strong relationships with the other members of the team. From then on, he was happy. He told the facilitator that he would listen to everyone and respect his elders. When asked, whether it was the program that had led to these changes? and if so, why had he changed. He said that the program had previously been focused on learning football skills but now the focus is on teaching life skills as a part of the curriculum. He said that the team agreements helped him to make changes in his behaviour both inside and outside the game. He started to take initiative during the games and behave responsibly during the sessions. If he had any doubts, he would clarify them in the session itself and he often came out with some very powerful and relevant questions. “I feel like I too have changed through my involvement in the program. I learned better ways to behave with my elders and with younger children, responsibility, how to take initiative and most importantly, I learned how to be a leader and I’m really happy I learned this because it is a very good quality to have. I have learned that I have to be a good soccer player and the importance of relationships, not only in soccer but also in my life outside of the game. The football program has made a lot of changes in my life and I know how to work hard to achieve a bright future for myself.”
He also quotes: “I have never seen this kind of program and it makes me feel good. The first session is one of the most memorable days of my life. I have been playing football since I was 10 and I used to play very selfishly. Once I lost a game due to my selfishness and this made me realise that being selfish is very bad and you can’t score a goal if you behave like that. After going to some sessions, I have become much more honest, my football skills are a lot better and there have even been changes in my life. Thank you Dream A Dream!”
Organization and Program Updates:
All this has been possible only due to the undying commitment and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us, Dream A Dream, to continue to reach out to many more young people in helping them unleash their potential and take over the life’s challenges with confidence.
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