Dear Co dreamers,
It gives us an immense pleasure to share with you that Girish and Mahesh graduates of our programme recently bagged a US scholarship to pursue a one year certificate programme. (http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/others/City-boys-grab-US-scholarship/articleshow/37722016.cms )
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.
Zoombas! Yes, that's what we will call ourselves, Bopanna and Nilisha (facilitators of camp) shouted out to the group of adults who were coming for the camp. That kick started the journey of four fun filled, highly energetic and enthusiastic days with 14 adults and 29 young people. The excitement itself started building up in the long bus journey with all the campers having a ball shouting, screaming and singing all along. Reaching the camp site, I was totally awestruck with the awesome scenic beauty which surrounds it; calm and peaceful, completely away from the noisy, traffic loaded, polluted Bangalore roads. It was indeed a different new world.
As the 'ZOOMBAS', were split into different family group, so was I. I was part of a family group, which we named as " Silver Springs' and there were five young people present. I am sharing in the following the strong changes I observed in two of them:
Rakshit doing his tenth standard initially he was totally an introvert, would not contribute much to the group and would be just by himself. But slowly I started seeing him coming out of his small cocoon and displaying his very strong qualities. He was part of the gender stadium and came up with a lot of opinions which actually added a lot of value to the discussion the group was already having. And then I see him taking on to facilitate a workshop on Science crafts by himself. I was very happy and proud that he actually started opening up and bringing his inbuilt talents to the forefront.
Nisha studying tenth standard hails from Delhi and due to which she cannot understand Kannada very well. In the first two days, I used to observe her to be very quiet and not contributing much. She would just be present but then she started getting more comfortable and started asking for Hindi translations for different instructions that were given. She started getting more involved and putting forward her ideas and suggestions in the family group. During the youth led workshops, I was amazed to observe that she also took up to facilitate a workshop on Mehendi design and that too with sketch pens. There was only one person who was getting his hand imprinted on but the amount of concentration and dedication which she had towards what she was doing was simply amazing. There were others asking her different queries and she was responding back patiently and was in the same time engrossed in what she was doing. Finally, I see her come up on stage and express her entire feelings to the entire crowd. It was indeed very heart touching!
I am very much pleased that I was indeed part of this beautiful experience.
Please scroll down to see a few pictures from the programme. We look forward for your continued support and an enduring relationship.
We are excited to share with you the journey of Dream A Dream of the last quarter of the financial year 2013-14. One of the main highlights of the programme is the Life Skills Assessment Scale developed by Dr. David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennady from UK who have been working together with Dream A Dream over the past years to develop and publish a standardized and reliable impact measure for Dream A Dream’s Life Skills Programmes for young people from vulnerable backgrounds. Their immense work has resulted in a paper co-authored by them with Dream A Dream Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer, Vishal Talreja. This has been accepted for publication in Social Behavior and Personality, an international journal for March 2014.
With this report I would want to share with you the story of Alisha (name changed) as observed by our facilitator followed by a few highlights of our organization and programmes.
Meet Alisha a 14 year old girl who is studying in the 8th and 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.
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 continued her one-on-one conversation with Alisha with a focus to build her strength, resilience and ability to deal with this discrimination. 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, Alisha became interested in attending the sessions and gradually the other participants noticed Alisha’s interest and talent.
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.
The facilitator gradually noticed that Alisha started taking leadership, engaging with others and learning to deal with her feelings when others were teasing her.
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.
Organisational and Programme Highlights:
“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.
Please scroll down to see our programme pictures :)
We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship.Thank You!!
We are excited to share with you the journey of Dream A Dream so far. We have launched second Dream Connect Center in KR Puram, Bangalore to reach out 2000 more young people of vulnerable backgrounds.
With this report I would want to share with you a few highlights so far and the story of Ashwini (name changed), from the words of our Life Skills Facilitator, Shivu
Meet Ashwini studying in 7th Standard and has been part of our Dream life skills programmes since the start of this year.
The Challenge: Academically, she is an average student but highly energetic in the classroom, is a good dancer and also involves herself in sports.
During the observation, it was found that she often teases boys, and hits them as well as uses abusive words towards them. But when the life skill sessions are happening, she appears to be quiet as well as shy but her energy goes up immensely, if there is an action song or games happening during the session. But facilitator found her arguing with her class mates and using bad words, if she was asked to do something. She feels she is right and rest of them is wrong. This resulted in unwanted fights in classroom.
The Change: During the session facilitator started to give her some responsibilities. At the beginning, he asked her to do an action song of the main activity which she liked to conduct. Later gave responsibilities like distribution of materials that helped her to have at least an eye to eye contact with everyone and she slowly started to recognize everyone. It took almost a month to see some changes in her.
Facilitator was very happy to hear from her class teachers and friends’ feedback about her that she has become very active in all class room activities, raises hands to answer questions and takes quick responsibilities at class. She is the one who takes care of 1-3rd standard students in absence of teachers. She started accepting other students and thus everybody accepts her too.
Her friends said that they were scared to talk to Ashwini in the beginning and now it is different, they love her.
The Dream Power: Facilitators are the key person of Dream A Dream programmes. They create platforms to the young people of our programme to come out from their challenges.
Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights:
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!
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