"Giving Children Wings to their Dreams"

Dec 22, 2011

Dreams Do Come True! Thank You for Believing in Us

Girish at this Football Practice
Girish at this Football Practice

2980 young people from some of the most challenging neighbourhoods across 16 locations in Bangalore are meaningfully engaged 1-2 times a week in core Life Skills programs. They have made a commitment to take their future into their hands with confidence and dignity. This has been possible due to the commitments and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us Dream a dream for the young people - One at a time.

A Young Man 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 is 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. 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 young people are given the right learning opportunities and guidance they will bloom and build in them the confidence to take on life's challenges.

As we close this year, we feel tremendous gratitude for hundreds and thousands of people like YOU who have come forward to believe in Us and Support Us. You are an integral part of this journey and YOUR support makes all the difference.

We aim to continue this important work for thousands more young people like Girish in the year 2012 and we reach out to YOU with humility to continue to support our work. 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 Girish did.

Thank you. Do visit our website for continued updates at www.dreamadream.org

Girish with his Football Team
Girish with his Football Team


Sep 18, 2011

Cherishing Dreams! One child at a time

Lead Facilitators under-going Training
Lead Facilitators under-going Training

The New Year at Dream A Dream started in April and in June as the school year began, 3000 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 one quarter. 

Over 97 batches are run across 16 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 his 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 6 months have been:

Organizational Highlights:

  1. Winner at the Most Outstanding Annual report Awards for the year 2009-10 hosted by CSO Partners and FMSF.
  2. Shortlisted to present Dream A Dream’s scale plans at Ashoka Globalizer event hosted by Ashoka – Innovators for the public (www.ashoka.org). The event brought together 16 Ashoka Fellows from across the world to present their plans and models to an esteemed network of successful business entrepreneurs and seek their inputs on strengthening their plans.

Program Highlights:

  1. 3000 children enrolled in our various Life Skills Programs since June. .
  2. Completed a Life Skills for Career Development program during the summer for 130 young people enrolled in our DreamConnect Program. The program will continue for another 600 young adults through the year.
  3. Completed “Lead Facilitator” training for 8 Trainers in partnership with PYE Global in early July. This is an ongoing partnership to develop a team of Lead Facilitators for our scale plans.
  4. Completed a Teacher Training Program on Life Skills Development for a school in Munirabad, Belgaum as part of our prototype scale plans
  5. Completed 3 Teacher Training workshops on Life Skills Development and Creative Facilitation for staff from Agastya Foundation as part of our prototype scale plans
  6. With support from Grassroot Soccer (GRS), South Africa we have completed the “Life Skills Thru Football (LSTF)” Curriculum. This curriculum has been developed for children from Grad 4 to Grad 10, encompassing 40 sessions a year (structured and unstructured)
  7. With support from GRS we have completed the “Training of Life Skills Facilitators Manual” to deliver the LSTF Curriculum. The manual covers 4 primary areas of Dream A Dream Engagement with children/youth. These include Giving Praise, Creating a Safe Space, Building Personal connections and having Vital Conversations.
  8. Completed a 5-day intensive training for all Life Skills Facilitators in our LSTF program. The training was conducted by GRS representative Taylor Downs alongwith Lead Facilitators from Dream A Dream.

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

Children in Life Skills Thru Creative Arts Program
Children in Life Skills Thru Creative Arts Program


Jun 16, 2011

Dream A Dream surges ahead with your support!

Children engaging with Volunteers
Children engaging with Volunteers

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 learned 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 has been 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,


With Dreams,



Vishal Talreja

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. 

Children at a Dream Life Skills Program
Children at a Dream Life Skills Program


Mar 15, 2011

Giving Children Wings To Their Dreams

Pallavi from the LearnIT
Pallavi from the LearnIT

Dear Donors,

Pallavi is a 15-year old, studying in the 10th Grade at a Charity-Run Free school for children from very poor family background. Two years back, she enrolled into Dream A Dream’s various Life Skills Development Programs.

Today, Pallavi is a confident spokeswoman for the girls in her batch. She leads group activities boldly and with spunk. Pallavi recently successfully completed two years in the Dream LearnIT program (A Life Skills through Computer Education program) and graduated with the rest of her class.

In the beginning, she was an introvert and bashful. In the two years that she has been engaged with Dream A Dream, her life seems to have taken a 360 degree turn. Coupled with the LearnIT program was the influence of her sister, Sunita, a student of the LearnIT program and a year older to Pallavi. Slowly but steadily Pallavi left her inhibitions behind to evolve into a poised young lady approaching problems head-on. While in the beginning, she directed her doubts to her friends, she started clearing her confusion with the volunteers and facilitators towards the end of the program.  The exposure and Life Skills that come along with the LearnIT program have helped Pallavi immensely. The change is there for everyone to see. Pallavi is just one child from the 2500 we have reached out to this year.

We are happy to bring you the report for the last quarter of the year 2010-2011[Jan-Mar]. This year we have touched the Lives of 2500 children from across our 11 Partner charities. The Dream Life Skills Programs are specially designed to develop critical life skills that are required in children to help them become positive and contributing members of the society. Key Life skills focused on are Interpersonal communication, ability to take initiative, ability to manage conflicts, ability to overcome challenges and solve problems and the ability to understand and follow instructions. The Life Skills programs using mediums such as sports, creative arts, computer education, mentoring, outdoor adventure provide an opportunity to children to step outside their boundaries and push their comfort zones. Activities are designed to bring about a sense of belonging, a sense of making significant contribution and a sense of achievement. We bring to you the impact and culminating events of each of our Core programs below.

1] Dream Creative Arts.

(Children aged   8-14 years receive 8 hours of intervention per month for the entire academic year from facilitators trained in life skills approach to facilitating]     

1007 Children participated in our Creative arts Program over the entire year. Dream A Dream Holds annual exhibitions in each of the centers exhibiting the beautiful work of the participating children. This year each and every exhibition has brought out some amazing talent, like Pot painting, clay modeling, and painting on various other materials. Artwork using many kinds of materials These were splashed the walls of the exhibition with color as much as they also colored the dreams of these children.

2] Dream Football

(Children aged 8-14 years receive 8 hours of intervention per month for the entire academic year from coaches trained in life skills approach to facilitating]

1320 Children have been trained in Football this year through .Our Football teams have done us proud in 2 annual events .Dream footballteam participated in the HOMELESS WORLD CUP held in Nagpur in February this year and has been awarded the Fair Play Award. 3 of the team were further selected for round 3. If selected for the national team they will go on to play the International matches in Paris.

INSIDE FOOTBALL is an Annual event for all the teams from the centers.   One beautiful Saturday,14 energetic  matches and 2 teams emerged Winners. The winners were awarded certificates of achievement.

3] Dream Connect

(Older children aged 14-18 years receive 16 sessions from volunteer facilitators having knowledge of computer applications and internet and trained in the life skills approach)

Bits and Bytes is the annual IT event for each center to display IT skills they have learnt through the year. Every center put up beautiful presentations and did us proud in front of their teachers and parents.431 Children have taken part in the Learn IT program.

Dream Mentoring is in progress. 25 Mentors are being matched to young adults from the Dream centers .These mentors will remain with the children for 12 sessions over a period of 4-6 months, helping them through turbulent times by just being there for them.

4] Fun days and Adventure Camps.

(Children aged 8-14 years receive outdoor camping opportunity for 2-4 days under the guidance of trained adventure specialist and volunteers)

Adventure camp closed on a high note. Reaching 881 children through 25 camps .These camps are instrumental in honing skills of adjustment, courage, sharing, caring and sense of achievement and of belonging to a group. All of which are important life skills for the school children.

1083 Children participated in 24  Fun-days. These are day outings for the children to the Museums / parks/ gardens and places of historical importance in the city.


We would like to thank the dedicated team of volunteers [We had 645 active volunteers] for engaging with us in such a positive and contributing way and contributing nearly 13000 hours. And we would like to thank all of you whose contributions have been used in the meaningful programs bringing joy and the possibility of the choice of a better tomorrow to all our children.

Web: www.dreamadream.org
FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dream-A-Dream/189948419595

Adventure Camp at Savanadurga
Adventure Camp at Savanadurga


Dec 13, 2010

Equitable Quality Education for All Children

Dream Football Team at Mahindra Tournament
Dream Football Team at Mahindra Tournament

Dear Donors

Season's Greetings from Dream A Dream!

This brings you the report card for Dream Football 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 1000 students from 7 schools across Bangalore already enrolled. The target is to close the year in March reaching out to 1500 children.  Students are doing well in schools and on the football field. The highlight of this year has been the participation of 2 teams from Dream Football Program in the Under 14 Mahindra Football Tournament. The participation holds great significance for our children because they got an opportunity to play with some the top football teams in the city; mostly from the city's elite schools. It also provided a platform for selection into Karnataka State team. Dream Team goal keeper, Hemanth Kumar from Balamandira (home for street boys in Bangalore) has been selected for the Under 14 Football training camp and may get a chance to play for 'Under 14 Karnataka' team.

We would also like to introduce to you 2 of our star graduates from Dream Sports Program - Revanna and Manjunath. They truly represents the ‘dream’ we have for each child in Dream Program - to develop the ability to make healthy and productive life choices.

Both Revanna and Manjunath are 19 years old. Studying in college and working as Sports Coordinators cum coaches in Dream Football Program. They have a great desire to share the learnings they had from Dream Program with children from similar vulnerable backgrounds as they come from. This desire of beneficiaries to give back to the program indicates their belief in the programs and its benefits and we at Dream A Dream consider this as our best evidence of impact the program is making to date.

Revanna is currently pursuing his graduation and also working as Sports Coordinator and coach in the Dream Sports Program; achieved through hard work and a will to succeed against all odds. Being born poor and orphaned at a tender age of 9, he was picked up from Bangalore railway station and spent his formative adolescent years in a home for street children where he was introduced to Dream A Dream. According to Ravenna " I want to say 'thank you' to Dream A Dream for making a BIG difference in my life. I did not think I would one day be studying for my graduation (BA degree), able to make a living for myself and pursue my interest in sports like running marathons and playing football". Revanna's success is an inspiration to other children at Dream A Dream. He is constantly looking for ways to inspire children through his coaching; pushing them to work hard and overcome the challenges faced due to their difficult backgrounds. 

Manjunath recently got an opportunity through Dream A Dream to participate in the Adidas Exchange Program. According to Manju, “It's one of the memorable moment for me and I feel lucky I had an opportunity to be part of Youth Leadership workshop. Since I see myself as a youth leader it was really fortunate for me to be part of these discussions. First few days I was little nervous to speak but when youth leaders from other organizations shared their journey, it helped me speak, ask questions and share. It was really a wonderful opportunity for me to understand more about youth leadership. We discussed on the topics such as how could we recognize youth leaders, what we could do for developing the leadership skills, qualities of a youth leader and the emergence of the youth leader. At a personal level also it was great for me as I got my first chance to travel in a flight! It was a really exciting experience and my dream come true”.

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.

Warm Regards

Priti Ramachandran

Revanna coaching at Dream Football Program
Revanna coaching at Dream Football Program
Manjunath in flight
Manjunath in flight

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Dream A Dream

Jayanagar, Bangalore, India, India

Project Leader

Vishal Talreja

Bangalore, Karnataka India

Where is this project located?

India   Sport
Map of "Giving Children Wings to their Dreams"